The Value of Love

And Now these three remain: faith, hope and love but the greatest of these is love (1 Corinthian 13:13)


The Value of Love


Douglas Childers

In this Season of Advent, we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and look with anticipation to His return; though, we know not the hour or the day He shall return. In this secular society, families have different ways of celebrating Christmas. Over the years, most families develop special Traditions, as their ritual of celebration. For many families, exchanging gifts, enjoying time from work, attending office Parties, or watching College Football defines the log of tradition.

However, there is a greater gift. If we wrap ourselves in it, our heart is warmed, and our minds rejoice. The Apostle Paul writes of this gift. He wrote, “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love but the greatest of these is love (1 Corinthian 13:13).” No other gift is needed more than love. You can’t buy love at the Grocery Store, Macy’s, J. C. Penney, Walmart or from any other store. You can’t order love from or anywhere else on the internet. Love comes from within you. It defies every tradition. I hope, for your family, Christmas is a time when differences are put aside. I hope we all can thank God, we’re able to share our appreciation for one another.

Matthew gives us details of the birth of Jesus. In his story, he tells us Mary is engaged to Joseph (Matthew 1:18). To understand this story, it must be considered in context and considering the Hebrew Marriage Customs of the first century. Marriages were arranged, and contracts negotiated by parents. After the primary functions of the ritual were accomplished and the couple considered married they did not initially live together as husband and wife.

The woman continued living with her parents, and the man with his, for a period of one year. This period of waiting was called “The Pledge of Purity.” It fully demonstrated a bride’s faithfulness to her husband. If she became pregnant, during this period, she obviously was not pure and evidently had become involved in an unfaithful sexual relationship. Therefore, the marriage could be annulled. If, on the other hand, the one-year waiting period demonstrated purity by the bride, the husband went to his bride’s parents house, after the year ended, brought her home with him, consummated the marriage, and the two of them begin living together, as husband and wife.

During the year that Mary and Joseph were married, Mary became pregnant while engaged in the Period of Waiting, Although

Mary had not engaged in sexual intercourse with a man. She was faithful to Joseph. The scripture says she became pregnant by the Holy Spirit. As a man, Joseph was entitled to his rights to divorce her according to their laws. Furthermore, he was justified to publicly disgraced her. He might have called her every dark and facetious name from the street vocabulary of the day-—names which painted devious words as they escaped the tip of his tongue. Instead, he loved her. His loved permitted him to complete the Marital Ritual. Then, he did something unexpected from a mature man of his status. He followed heavenly dictates, received in a dream. We know what happened as the story progressed.

My prayer for you and your family this year is that you spread love, rather than hate and discord. If love has not already taken root in the heart of your family members, I pray that it does. I pray you love one another; even as Christ loves you.

Merry Christmas,

Douglas Childers


The Rev. Dr. J. Douglas Childers is a Retired United Methodist Pastor, a Volunteer of FS-BH Alumni Board and member of the Class of 1968.

After Reunion 2017

Reunion 2017 sadly, has ended. If you did not attend this reunion, you missed a treat. The twinkling lights, the bands, the DJ and that awesome Jazz, Blues & Throwback night; along with the tour of the MLK Historic Site have all come to an end. At Reunion 2017 ‘s Worship Service our own Rev. Dr. Regina Meadows Bell’s sermon entitled “Dry Bones”, aroused an awakening among all who attended. Our Sunday Closing Session was memorable. Judge Michael Hancock, was one of the first African Americans to graduate from Gainesville High. However, he began his journey with the Butler class of 1967, celebrating our 50th graduation anniversary. His message took us on a journey from our early years at Fair Street, that included him, to the current place with so many different stories of success. We all took different paths, but the journey led us to a magical re-connection on Sunday, September 3, 2017. Judge Hancock, or Mike as he prefers was introduced by his lovely and intelligent wife, Odessa Buffington Hancock, a member of the class of 1966. She prepared the audience well for her husband of most of their lives.
The BOD wishes to thank each one who attended for reaching out and remembering that each of us have one common denominator Gainesville & Hall County Georgia. A small community nestled in the Northeast Georgia mountains, which has produced Judges, Lawyers, Business Executives, Entrepreneurs, Doctors, Ministers of the Gospel…….  ……a proud group of Gainesvillians making a difference in this world. As Jesse Jackson has said so many times “Keep Hope Alive”.  We have so much to build upon, that we must pass on, or the struggles of so many will be for naught. This is the soul of our organization, renewed biennially at our Reunion with a purpose. 
Think about our children & grandchildren who want to further their training or education beyond high school. It is expensive and growing yearly beyond the resource of most of us. Our focus is to help as many as we can to realize their dream. Many of you gave from $10 to $1500 to finance this. Why not make a commitment now to send a check monthly or quarterly to fulfill that commitment for 2019?  As we discussed at the reunion, we all need to give back. One helps one. This money is tax deductible, but it will also make you feel better in knowing that you are giving to a cause that you will be able to see the product. The students are worth every dime. So, act now.
As a heads-up, we will start working on Reunion 2019 in a few weeks, if you have any ideas and or suggestions regarding the reunion please feel free to share with any Board member or leave us a note here. 
In closing, I say “Thank You” to this outstanding Board of Directors. It has been a pleasure to work with you and enjoy your company. No one person makes the Reunion; each person brings a unique perspective and flair. We roll it, mesh it together to create a product that works for us and pleases the Tiger Alumni Nation. The reward is the pleasure we receive when everyone (or about 99%) of the Alumni has a great time and leave getting ready for the next reunion.
At Reunion 2019 we will honor the class of 1969, who closed the doors of the Fair St.-Butler High era. Plan now to be there!
Theresa Anderson Puryear
Business Manager – Class of 1967


New Membership Levels

Your BOD is now an organization with a full-time agenda,  not just the biennial reunion. To defray expenses that come with this expansion, we asked our members to contribute. Make no mistake about this, every person who claims membership is a full member regardless of any donations. We created the VIP Maroon Level to allow our members to help pay these expenses. Details of this level:


  • Cost is $25 per person
  • Participants receive Membership Card or Certificate
  • Recognition on Program at the  Reunion
  • All at this level will be honored at the next Reunion and online as is appropriate

Preparing for our future means training and educating our young people to be able to answer the call by preparing for it. In response to the speech of John Harris at the 2015 Reunion Closing Lunch, our former President Ms Deborah Keith Mack committed to donate $1,000 to the Scholarship Fund. She inadvertently created the new VIP  Tiger Booster Membership Level:


  • $1,000 per person or couple
  • All benefits of Maroon VIP Level
  • Certificate to acknowledge contribution
  • 20% reduction of Reunion fees
  • Additional recognition at Reunion (TBD)


Again, it is well recognized and acceptable that not all are able and willing to participate. If you are, please add $25 payment with your registration for VIP. If you would like to participate at the Tiger Booster, please send an email to or call John Harris at 404-421-9862. We ill send a direct mail to some of you and hope you will respond.


John W. Harris

Director of Membership & Communications

Class of 1965





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The Amen Corner – “We’ve come this far by faith”



W live in a time when it seems these words have never been truer. When we look around our world and into the circles in which we live, we are reminded that it’s been our faith in almighty God that has sustained us. Who would have thought that the president elect would be taking office? Times like these remind us that we need a Savior. Regardless of who our candidate was in the election, one has to agree that each day of cabinet selections prove to be unbelievable.

I believe that God has and always is in the shadows keeping watch above His own. Maybe this is just a time for the faithful to reaffirm their faith and trust in God. Our land is sick, it’s sin-sick, crime and mayhem gets higher every night, yet God still say’s “If My people who are called by My name would humble themselves, and pray, seek, My face and turn from their wicked way’s, I will hear their prayer, forgive their sins and heal the land”.

Often we are reminded that in order to have a clear picture of where we are going, we have to have a clear picture of where we have been. We have never made it on policy, power or politics. It’s always been God who opened doors, made ways and caused us to survive and thrive against all odds. Regardless of who’s in the white house let’s make sure God’s in our house.

When we look back at how we’ve made it, we come to the conclusion that “we’ve come this far by faith”.

I pray that we all have the merriest Christmas ever and that our New Year is brighter than ever, and that we live in the promises, provisions, and the power of God.


Pastor NilesMs Prez Fair St 004 (3)