Lessons for Living – By Bo Prosser, editor
This book begins at the end! The idea for the book came from a conversation between Daniel Vestal and Babs Baugh concerning the life and work of Babs’ mom, Eula Mae Baugh. Daniel called me and gave me the honor of trying to piece together more than 60 years of Sunday School lessons, sharing her wit and wisdom, and giving the reader glimpses of an extraordinary woman.
I want you to see her obituary before you dive into the rest of the book. She was a woman ahead of her time—way ahead! And, she was also a woman of her time. At many places in the book she speaks from her place in time.
In her Sunday School lessons she usually used the male language for God—for which she was unapologetic—and also quoted from the King James Version. After all, she was a product of her culture and her upbringing. She was raised by a Baptist preacher who, in the best sense of parenting, taught her the basics as he knew it.
My editor and I intentionally tried not to modernize her words. We’ve left her language alone for the most part because it represents her traditional understandings of God. Remember, these lesson plans came from the 1950s and 60s. She never expected that her notes would be published, much less put into book form. If she had, I am certain that she would have challenged the purely masculine nouns and pronouns around the name of Jehovah God in today’s context.
Yet, in her upbringing Eula Mae was also given the freedom to grow and be herself. In her lessons you’ll see her as strong-minded and independent, brave and courageous, tender and loving. You’ll see glimpses into her teaching (and preaching), and you’ll see her challenging her students to think for themselves.
This book is published in collaboration with the Eula Mae and John Baugh Center for Baptist Leadership at Mercer University.