My Father, Farrell E. Forrest

My dad was born in Springfield, Missouri, but when he was a small child he moved with his parents to the hamlet of Biggers, Arkansas. During Dad’s early years his father abandoned his mother and their five children.
Despite this sad development, he had a happy childhood, and one of the stories he used to tell me revolved around a contest among the siblings to see which one could dress the most quickly. My lively dad would run back and forth to gauge the progress of each child, thereby hampering his own, so that he seldom won the game.
He was a winner, though, for he was always ambitious, and throughout his lifetime, he was known to be a hard worker. He quit school in the eighth grade to support his mother and his siblings.
In his early twenties, in Memphis, Tennessee, Dad met my mother. A few months later they were married, and a year after, in the small town of Portageville, Missouri, I was born.
Dad was feisty, impetuous and fun-loving, and he probably nearly drove my saintly mother crazy. Many times he would come in from work, rubbing his hands together in happy anticipation, a smile spread over his handsome face and say, “Let’s go to Portageville.” We children would dance in glee for we dearly loved our aunts and uncles and cousins who lived there. My mother would gather our things, and off we would go.
For as long as I can remember–even almost to the year of his death–my dad pastored churches, even pioneering several. They were relatively small churches, and he always worked a secular job. For many years, he was a door-to-door salesman, selling Fuller Brushes, and then Singer Sewing Machines. He eventually had his own shop–Forrest Sewing Center.
My dad was extremely studious and spent many hours preparing for every sermon he preached. Although of modest means, he always found money to invest in Bible commentaries and other books. I can see him now in our small living room, a Bible on his lap with two or three other books opened and stacked on each other. We youngsters were the library aides, and when he wanted another book, he would call for Homeletics, Handsful on Purpose, or Clarks commentaries, citing the volume he needed. Some of them had Roman numeral designations, and part of my mathematical training was in learning that system as I found commentaries for my father

For his 80th birthday, which proved to be mere months before his death, I threw a big party for my dad. Did all the planning long distance (with the help of some of my family) for I lived in California and the party was at a hotel in Springfield. Dapper, yet, wasn’t he. I bought all his clothes for that day, including a pair of silk shorts which I laughingly presented. At the party, I quizzed whether or not he was wearing his silk underwear.

His eyes crinkled in their usual way. “Shirley, I couldn’t wear those things.”

Years ago, his body was laid to rest in Greenlawn Cemetery in Springfield, Missouri. He awaits now the resurrection.

I honor my dad on this Father’s Day.

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My devotional blog is here.

13 thoughts on “My Father, Farrell E. Forrest

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  3. What a beautiful tribute to your father!

    As Jerry and I ate lunch yesterday, we spoke of being grateful for having been reared by upright people. Our world has such a dearth of decent role-models, it is easy to understand the confusion and downturn around us.

    Be well.

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  4. What a beautiful post. Thanks for sharing.

    P.S. In his younger picture, I see a resemblance to Michael. Your first sentence in the fifth paragraph kind of sounds like Michael, too. LOL My childhood memories were enhanced by having Steve and Michael as partners in crime. 🙂

    Good morning, Jana. Yes, Michael looks a lot like my dad.

    Crime partners? I’ve been blessed to have such delightful ones around me for many years. 🙂

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  5. Thank you for sharing this beautiful tribute to your father. He sounds like he was a wonderful man, and I’m sure knowing that you will be reunited with him one day makes heaven all the more sweeter.

    Great isn’t it Carol, that we Christians have that hope…indeed that promise. We will one day be reunited with our loved ones who died in Christ.

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  6. How precious a tribute to your Dad. I love the “old time” preacher man. I didn’t have the opportunity to know your father but I just know I would have loved him by how you have written about him. 🙂 Blessings to you! 🙂

    Ronda, I’ll bring him by your place in heaven and introduce you.

    Not sure how it all works, but if he is already in heaven, he’s probably met your parents. Now, think about that!

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  7. dean

    Hi Sis Buxton,
    It is me again, just wanted to say Happy Fathers Day to Br. Buxton, he is my father in the lord, I will write more often….
    Love you Br. Buxton,
    always will, Dede…

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  8. aprdmomy

    I remember when he would preach he would get so excited he would bend at the waist, and totally disappear behind the small pulpit. A tall man he was not. Big hearted though; he would ‘pull’ coins from our ears or rub our heads and magical things would happen. Wonderful memories .

    You remember correctly. He was a dynamic, fiery preacher and, absolutely, at times he would disappear behind the pulpit. Then he would pop back up never missing a word.

    Remember one of his games– hickedy, hackedy, how many fingers do I hold up? He would say this to a child as he rubbed the top of his/her head. If the child guessed right, he would say, “Five you said, and five it is…and so forth.

    He loved life. I miss him yet.

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  9. aprdmomy

    This is a special day to give tribute to our Dads and yours, my dear Mother, is so beautifully presented. My fondest memories of Grandpa are at his shop. He would put us to work plugging things in, picking up lint from the floor and smiling at customers when they entered. Our pay? Pennies and nickels and quarters . We felt like millionaires. We would run next door and buy a scoop of ice cream from Thriftys. ( I think it was 5 cents a scoop!)

    Hi, Bek. Yes, my dad was extremely generous, always holding little contests to give away money and as you have remembered, constantly supplying little jobs for those he loved.

    Ice cream for 5 cents a scoop? Surely not! How much is it today? A dollar or so?

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  10. dean

    Sis. Buxton,
    I know you must be very proud of your Dad,I am so glad to have known him.He was a great man of God.

    love you Dede,

    Hi, Dede. What a treat to hear from you. Yes, my dad was wonderful. How blessed I am to have such legacy.

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  11. dean

    Sister B., what a wonderful tribute to a man of God. I remember Brother Forrest well. May his memory always remain with me. Excited about serving God. Peace

    Dean, I had forgotten that you knew my dad. He was a sweetheart.

    Love this line of yours: “Excited about serving God.”

    Happy Fathers Day to you, also.

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