This week for my internship, I spent my time entering metadata for the church scrapbooks. As I entered metadata, a few things caught my attention:
1. The scrapbooks are not in perfect chronological order.
For example, throughout the scrapbook the church had called its senior adult ministry “JOY.” I had my own guess at why they called it joy, but never knew for sure. Well, being a little past half way though entering metadata for my scrapbook, I came across an article that described how the senior adult ministry was changing its name to JOY. In this article, I came to find out that my assumptions were right – JOY stands for “Just Older Youth.” (Isn't that cute?!) All this to say, just because an article is in the scrapbook, it does not mean that it is in perfect chronological order.
2. Sometimes its worth taking a minute to look up background information about something in the scrapbook.
For example, one of the items in the scrapbook talked about having guest speaker Cecil Day at a men’s prayer breakfast. Compared to the other items in the scrapbook, the prayer breakfast did not seem that important. Important events usually have several articles, but there was only one article about the prayer breakfast. Then in my personal experience, important people do not usually speak at prayer breakfasts – important people preach on Sunday morning or speak on Sunday night. So, with that said, I had no reason to believe that Cecil Day was that important. But, one thing on the article about Cecil Day caught my attention – the fact that he was the founder of Days Inn. I wondered, what was the founder of Days Inn doing at a prayer breakfast for a church in Winter Park? So, I looked him up!
After doing a bit of research, I discovered that Cecil Day was a Christian philanthropist. His reason for starting the Days Inn hotel chain was to provide nice, affordable lodging for travelers. Moreover, I learned when Cecil was in charge of the hotel chain, he made sure that all his hotels encouraged their guests to take home a paperback Bible free of charge. The most interesting thing I learned about Cecil was that by the time he passed away, he had given half of his multimillion-dollar fortune to churches and Christian ministries, including New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. I found this to be incredibly cool given that my fiancé is currently attending New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and will be graduating with his Masters in Christian Education this May.
So, all that to say, what seemed like an unimportant article in the scrapbook turned out to be really cool. While at first glance it didn’t make sense why the founder of Days Inn would be speaking at a prayer group, after doing some research, it makes perfect sense. Cecil Day had a heart for the Lord and was active in giving to the Southern Baptist Community, which First Baptist Winter Park was (and is) a part of. Thus, researching Cecil Day not only provided insight into how he related to the church, but it allowed me to discover that this seemingly unimportant article in the scrapbook actually had a personal connection to my life. Who knew?