Paralea Clampet

by David Shannon

Paralea Clampet was a giver. The greatest gift spoken of in the scriptures is God loving us so much He �gave� His only Son (John 3:16). God is a giver. Last week we said farwell to Paralea, a woman who reflected this aspect of God’s nature so very well.

Paralea�s father died when she was two years of age. Her mother worked hard, yet struggled to provide the bare necessities. Paralea knew first hand the toiling of hard work, whether it was splitting rails, hewing crossties or all the domestic duties. Many who experience such times become misers, but Paralea was just the opposite. She worked hard so she could be generous (Ephesians 4:28). For most of her adult life she was a nurse. She surpassed the second mile of helping others. Everyone in the little Oklahoma town knew her compassion. She made gowns and throws and visited often in the local Oak Grove Nursing Home. So much so that her name would often be listed first in published ads of appreciation in the newspaper. She served aging neighbors with daily visits, Bible readings, and cosmetic helps. She and Arnold gave their lives in service to God. The church in Oak Grove began in a home and moved to a school building. It was during this time the Clampets, who were young Christians, began working to grow the congregation. Arnold began preaching and together they would set up Bible studies. At one time she counted 95 souls they had brought to Christ. During these years a permanent, beautiful building was built by the sacrifice and labor of the members with the Clampets leading the way.

Her generosity was daily and natural. No one ever passed through her house without being offered a serving of food and a gift of some kind.

Paralea especially gave her heart to her family. She loved and served Arnold for 67 years of marriage. She intentionally spoiled him. Once he entered the house she didn�t intend for him to lift a hand for anything, even refilling his glass. You don’t have to apply this in your own home, but it does reveal to us the servants heart she had. She loved her children and grandchildren. She would give in numerous ways to them. When they visited Oklahoma, a trip to the dime store and later years, Wal-Mart was always offered within the first few hours. She sewed clothes, quilts, and other beautiful treasures for them. The Clampets would crack and pick out a hundred pounds of pecans to give to the family. Most importantly she gave them a good name.

Three years ago, December 8, the Clampets moved to MJ to live with their daughter May Ola England. Within six months they accepted they would never be able to return to Oklahoma. They made MJ home. What a blessing they have been to us. They gave their love and steadfast example to us�and we treasured every minute of it. May 28 of this year our brother Arnold passed away. By faith, I believe this past week on December 6 our sister Paralea enjoyed a reunion with Arnold. Can you imagine the Clampets reminiscing with Aquila and Pricilla about growing a congregation? I would love to hear Paralea visiting with Dorcas and the widow who gave two mites�those three definitely have kindred spirits. We have another reason to go home!