Miles Edward Busby
Source: Autobiography of Miles E. Busby
Miles Edward Busby was born March 7, 1908, in Bonifay, Holmes County, Florida. He was one of nine children born to Thomas Marion Busby (1871-1927) and Rachel Annie Hand (1872-1937).
He was married to Clara Mae Denham (1914-1983) on July 9, 1932, in Montgomery, Alabama. The couple had eight children, two of which, a boy and a girl, died infancy. They were, Betty Mae Busby (1933-1998), Randall Paul Busby (1949-1949), Nancy Permilia Busby (1952-1952), Andrew G. Busby (1946-1983), Edward Busby, Sara Ann Busby, Margaret Busby and Sue Busby.
Throughout his life, Miles worked several jobs to provide for his family. He began preaching the gospel among his church home in Thomaston, Georgia in 1934. Being self-taught, he grew in favor with God and man in his talents. Soon he was being called for meetings and fill-in appointments for other churches. He served regularly for a number of years in regular appointments at Pleasant Grove church of Christ in Dadeville, Alabama. He also preached meetings all over Georgia and Alabama. A fuller picture of his life appears in an autobiography published below.
His work was primarily engaged among non-institutional churches of Christ. He worked closely with Cecil Abercrombe of Birmingham, most noted for his non-class/no Sunday School views on church education. The family, for a number of years, lived in East Point, Georgia, where he preached for the Godby Road church of Christ. However, his ties to Thomaston were always strong.
Miles was preceded in death by his wife Clara Mae. They had been married for 51 years when she passed away on October 1, 1983. He lived several more years, marrying again to Hilda Pemberton of Alexander City, Alabama in October 1984. He succumbed to death December 11, 1993, and was buried in the family plot north of Thomaston. Specifics on grave location are below.
-Scott Harp, April 15, 2023
"AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MY LIFE"
I, Miles Edward Busby, now sixty four years old, was born March 7, 1908, in Holmes County near Bonifay, Florida, so I am told.
My father and mother began housekeeping in a one room log cabin for which they had cut down trees and built themselves. They sealed the cracks with mud, built a wooden bed into the side of the wall, and made a grass mattress. My father worked with timber at this time. To this couple were born nine children—six boys and three girls. I was next to the baby girl: Myself, one sister, and one brother now survive.
Now I wish to begin with my first memories in life. I remember living in a red house at Pensacola, Florida. I remember seeing signs where the water had come way up on the walls of the house. I don't remember just how old I was, but I guess about three years old. The next thing I remember was when my baby sister died. All I can remember about this was that someone picked me up by the side of a deep looking box. I saw my sister as she lay there dead. This was about 1911.
I next remember we moved on the farm of Mr. L. Stinson in South Georgia, not very far from Blakely, Georgia. I was about four years old that same year or the next year, I am not sure which. One thing I well remember was my brother, just five years older than myself, was with me in the woods. He had an axe and was chopping on a stump. I slipped up behind him and put my hand on the stump thinking I would have so.me fun out of him. He would not stop the axe so I saw he was about to cut off my hand. Quickly I pulled my hand back and he only cut two fingers off! ! !
This brings us up to where I will have to hit the highlights of things I remember both good and bad. There is a numerous amount of them.
LtoR Back Row: Albert Ross, William Jasper, Ethel Margaret,Samuel Huston Busby. LtoR Front Row: Rachel Annie Hand Busby holding Nancy Laviney, Thomas Marian holding Miles Edward Busby --1910
Source: Source: Pamela Coe Daniels, FInd-A-Grave
We moved from one farm to another in South Georgia, staying from one to four years. These farms were in the area of Blakely, Lucille, Mayhaw, Donaldsonville, Iron City, and Colquitt, Georgia. All of us children and our parents had jobs and worked hard, getting up before daylight and coming in at dark. It was very little schooling that we received. My schooling was a few weeks some years and none other years. To the best of my memory, in 1925 or 1926 I went to my last school for five weeks. This was at Harmony School which was five miles north of Colquitt, Georgia.
To my granddaddy I give credit for his untiring effort, love, knowledge, and sincerity, as he planted seeds of kindness and concern in my heart, which was the real turning point in my life. Yes, this which I am about to say led to a complete new life for me. It is just this simple, "Son, read the Bible.'' Then I could have said, "I can't," for I had no electric lights. I had to even spell such words as "this" and "that" before I could pronounce them, but I did not put up excuses. I just began slowly reading the New Testament as I could find time. When granddaddy found out I was trying to read the Bible, he said, "Son, as you read, remember that this is not man but God talking to you, so what it says do, that do. What it says not to do and condemns, don't do it." So I have tried to study and read the Bible in this way ever since. My mother was an excellent reader, and she would read the Bible to us, but I never got too interested until I began reading it myself. I am almost sure that this reading began in 1924. When I began to read the Bible, I had already cultivated a taste and desire for both beer and whiskey, as well as smoking and chewing. I finally came to the chapter that said no drunkard would enter the Kingdom of God. I was not a drunkard, but was headed in that direction, so that's why I refused to drink any more whiskey. Later on I gave up my tobacco habits.
I was not perfect, but the more I read, the harder I would try to adjust to the Bible teachings. I guess one reason my granddad took so much interest in me was that he, too, came up the hard way, went to school only three days, but did not give up.
At the time he was talking and encouraging me, he was well educated, not in the polical (sic-political?) world, but in the Bible. He had a beautiful handwriting, and I don't ever remember asking him a Bible question but what he would turn and read the Bible or quote it by memory and explain it to me.
Just here I want to say though in my life I had very little material things and only five weeks in the third grade of school, over a period of about ten years and much hard work and very little play, I obtained my education, and I thank God for it all. I am now more able to understand and assist others. Of course, my study and learning did not stop then. I am still studying and learning.
Miles E. & Clara Mae (Denham) Busby with daughter Betty Mae--1933
Source: Pamela Coe Daniels, FInd-A-Grave
Yes, what I want to say here is although I know nothing in comparison to what I ought to know, I would not today give up what little I have learned by reading and studying God's word and talking and communication with Bible students and scholars of the Bible, many of whom were much older than me. No, a thousand times, no. I would not give this hard but simple education for all the college degrees in the world. Some of those I studied with were false teachers, some were true. I have had many private discussions and some public debates during my preaching career. My preaching and teaching have taken me into several states and communities. I very recently, this year in fact, had the happy privilege of baptizing eight souls and seeing one sister come back and rededicate herself to the Lord. This is one of the greatest joys in my life - when I see people turn to the Lord. Some of the saddest experiences of my life are seeing people turn their backs on the Lord and turn to the world, knowing if they die in their sins, where Christ is they cannot go.
The Bible gives us the nature and mind of man and the pitfalls that we can expect in this life. It opens up the avenue of a way of escape, gives us the mind of Christ, the wisdom of God, and both the promise and hope of eternal happiness when this short life is over. Also, it gives us and demands our choice and decision of eternal life or eternal punishment beyond this short life here on earth. It teaches us self-denial, self-chastisement, faithfulness, loyalty, honesty, and sincerity.
Before we go farther into my life, I want to say as the Apostle Paul, "No man liveth to himself." We are all in a certain measure dependent on each other. We might illustrate that husband and wife by cooperation depend on each other and following God's plan marry and bear children. I am sure you can see without the male and female; children could not be brought into the world. So we must work out our own salvation with fear and trembling, depending on each other for aid and fully depending on God to give the increase. On this one point I could write a book of memories of those things that happened - both of good and evil intent. By their words and by their actions they all helped me gain knowledge as the span of life rolls on. This which they contributed to me helped to unfold the wonderful word of God.
I would feel very sad not to at least mention some of the benefits of one of the sweetest mothers that ever lived. Her influence on my conscience and life have had more weight or impact than words can tell. I thank God for her. She was kind, gentle, and good, yet positive and strict. Something especially stuck so deep in my mind. After I began to go places with my boy or girl friends, Mama would follow me to the door-then when I would walk away, she, with a smile sweetly and humbly would say, "Son, be a good boy and stay out of bad company.'' It seems now I can visualize her standing there in the door and almost hear her voice. To my sad regret, I did not always follow her advice; but bless her soul, she did her duty. Then when I would wander or falter, God would deal with me, sometimes very painfully. Many times, I would venture out and taste of sin to my sorrow and regret. God has been so good and merciful to me. He has so often dealt with me both in pain and comfort and has many times shielded me from evils, from danger, and I would say his guardian angel has even saved my life when otherwise I would have been dead long ago and would have been eternally doomed. I thank God for all these and many more wonderful blessings. Through God's love, mercy, and grace, I am what I am. I am fully persuaded he is able to keep that which I have committed to him (my soul, body, and spirit) against that day. To him be honor, glory, and praise forever more. Amen and Amen.
Now a little history. In the year 1920 my granddad came to visit us, and it seems that another preacher came with him. Anyway, arrangements were made, and preaching was conducted in the little country schoolhouse where I was going part time to school. I came under conviction, and I knew I was lost. I knew if I died, I would go to torment. I wanted so badly to be baptized, but I did not have the courage and proper faith to do what I wanted to do so badly. But as time went on, I finally pushed most of this out of my mind.
Then again, this same granddad visited with us in 1922. This same urge came over me again, so I got enough courage to ask my granddad to baptize me. Of course, this was very soon circulated through the family circle. At this time came one of my hardest blows, or I may say a sad discouragement, when one of my brothers brought to mind what hardship it would bring on our mother. We had seen my Dad persecute Mother by fussing and quarreling at her and belittling the Church of Christ because she had left the Baptist Church a short time after they were married and chose the Church of Christ. Also, he kept my oldest sister who was about 17 or 18 years old from being baptized into the Church of Christ. With all this before me, I very unwisely and sadly gave up. I hardened my heart and finally consoled myself by thinking on the lust and shallow things of the world.
Time passed on, and later I began going to a Freewill Baptist Church. I had read very little of the Bible, but I thought whatever any preacher said was right. I had a strong desire to be saved. I picked up the courage to go up to present myself for baptism, which I did. The preacher asked me if I believed that God for Christ's sake had pardoned my sins. Me, not knowing what to say, said "Yes." This was followed by voting and accepting me, also, baptism, and what they called Christian Right-Hand of Fellowship. I tried to live up to the rules and regulations of said denomination.
Later it came in my heart to leave home and start a career of my own. I expressed this desire to my parents and made plans to this end. My Dad at first was very unhappy and became somewhat hostile by making certain threats. Nevertheless, I went to our family doctor and a dear friend to me. After telling him my plans, I asked him to lend me $10.00 which would pay my way to Thomaston, Georgia, and back. He reached in his pocket, got the money, and tried to let me have more than I had asked for, but I would not take it.
I left home July 4, 1927, and went to work July 5th in the cotton mill. My uncle with whom my granddad was living got me this job. I boarded with him. Later I left this job and went back home. I made my Daddy another crop with the understanding they would harvest the crop. I had set my mind on going to Montgomery, Alabama. Then in June when the work on the farm was completed, I went to Montgomery, Alabama.
In the meantime, my uncle had also moved there. I felt assured I would go right to work, but it was a good while before I got a job. My uncle would encourage me by saying, "Just be patient, you will get a job." But I was very restless and very disappointed.
About this time a gospel meeting began at the Church of Christ which was about a mile and a half or maybe two miles from where they lived. My granddaddy would work 12 hours on his job, come home, eat and dress, and we would walk to meeting· and back. Sometimes my uncle and aunt would carry us in their T-Model Ford.
To begin with during the meeting, I mostly went to be with my granddad, so I sat on the back seat. Soon I became more and more interested and moved up to about the middle, then almost to the very front seat. I began to ask the preacher certain questions which he would answer by giving me Scriptures and saying, "Go home and read this." The last question I remember asking him was, "Is it necessary to be baptized again?" He told me to read II Pet. 1: 10, which reads, "Make your calling and election sure." This I did, since I could not find in the Scriptures the Baptist Church, nor their confession, nor their practice. I got up some clothes to carry with me without saying anything about my intentions. When the opportunity came, I stepped forward, confessed Christ, and was baptized for the remission of my sins. Thus, trusting the Lord to add me to His Church, which we can all read about in the Bible, and be saved simply by following the teachings of the word of God. This decision and change in my life brought joy and happiness to my soul. This is another step forward that I have never regretted but rejoice, although it brought persecutions to me and a disfellowship from many that I truly thought were my friends.
At this time things began to brighten up. My soul was saved from all past sins, which were many so-called small sins. I soon got a good job making a fair living, which I was able to share with my mother and daddy.
But, alas, in a few short months the economy slumped, and the depression began to bear down. The big companies began shutting down machinery, and laying off help.
By this time my uncle had bought out a grocery store in West End where I worked part time tc, pay my board. I finally got a job in a pastry shop in one of the large hotels. They gave me my meals and laundry plus $30.00 per month. Later I went out in the sales field, selling from door to door and town to town. Things get worse, and I then put my panel truck on the road. I bought and sold candy and crackers wholesale from store to store. There seemed to be so many out selling, you were lucky to average one box a day to each store. I worked the country stores. My routes were about 100 miles per day.
Later I went to construction work putting in curbing on the streets for the mill that I had formerly worked for. Then the mill gave me a job on the inside.
This now brings me up to the time I got married. I don't think it will be out of order to mention briefly the course I pursued in courtship and marriage. I began dating when about fifteen, just on special occasions. I think the first date was when several of us walked a dusty road to a bush-arbor meeting. We would have our get-togethers and socials, such as peanut shelling and sawing stove wood after our field work was done. We would play games for a short while, then go home. Of course, this all was chaperoned by our parents. As I grew older, I began to observe both peaceful and divided homes. I began studying the nature of people from both a Bible and the individual standpoint. I earnestly went to God in secret prayer asking Him to help me select a virtuous and true companion where love, peace, and happiness could be shared together, and we could both have a true Christian home. I went with some good, some bad. Some few I thought I really loved and could truly trust. But later I would lose some confidence in them, and this would lead me to go to them and tell them I was sorry, but I was not ready to marry and settle down. This, of course, was not easy to do—especially after I would think this is the one for me. Yet I wanted to be sure and not deceive the girl by letting her continue thinking we would eventually marry. I would go with her only as a very close friend. By this time my faith was growing very weak. I began to wonder if it was just me.
Then about the first of January 1932, I saw a girl pass the house where I was boarding. I noticed her passing the house almost daily, either going to work or to the store at the end of the street. The first time I saw her it seemed that something within me would say, ''This is her,'' yet I would not even try to meet her. I had been disappointed so much. Also, I was going steady with another girl, whom I thought very much of. But the time finally came when I had to choose between the two, for we were all going to the same Church. At this time, let me back up a few months. This girl that I loved so dearly the first time I saw her was named Clara Mae Denham. The other one was Catherine Bell. When I started going with Mae, I would not let her know how I felt about her. I stayed my distance on the subject. I was closely studying her on her religious views and other things I thought important. I found out we differed in our beliefs, so on Sunday she would go to the Baptist Church just a short distance from where she lived, while I would go about four times the distance with Catherine to the Church of Christ. When finally convinced that Mae was honest, sincere, and a virtuous girl, there was one thing we were not altogether agreed on. Before I could let her know how I felt about her, I suggested to Mae we read and study the Bible together and that since we had the Lord's supper every Sunday morning at the Church of Christ and the Baptist did not, that she go with me to church on Sunday morning, and I'd go with her on Sunday night. This we did. I also suggested we take a notebook with us and take down the scriptures, make note of what was said, then go to her house or somewhere and read and see which Church was right. This we did and continued to do for a while. Mae finally said one Sunday, "Miles, I had rather go to the Church of Christ," so we went. She became very interested and one day to my surprise she got up from my side when the invitation was extended and went forward. She made the Bible confession we had read about and was baptized into the body of Christ. Of course, this made me rejoice very much. As time went on I was sure she did this from the heart and not just because we were dating each other. I continued to find out if this was truly the "Girl" that God had chosen. When I was sure, I began talking in terms of married life. We were married a few months later on July 9, 1932. There were born to us four girls and four boys. We reared three girls and three boys. Our youngest boy died at about six weeks old, and our baby girl died when only ten days old. The six children are married, and we now have six fine sons and daughters-in-law and thirteen very sweet grandchildren. We had some very sad experiences all through the depression, yet we were bound together in true love, and all this made us both more humble and dependent on each other, and especially brought us in a closer walk with the Lord.
I was married on Saturday and went in to work the following Monday morning. My job and machinery were shut down. So I went on the spare floor, getting from one to three days per week. Things got so bad we moved down between Andalusia and Florala, Alabama, on a farm. I then got the promise of a job in Thomaston, Georgia. I sold my chickens and hired a man to move us. After we arrived, I was informed the Bedeaux System had doubled up and put extra work on the employees. But I was promised if I would go in on my own time and learn another job, they would put me to work. This I did for about two months, working for nothing, but still no job.
So, I cashed in all my insurance and left Mae with an aunt and cousin, after dividing the money with her. I think I left her $20.00, and I took $8.00 with me. I started out walking and catching rides, looking for a job. I spent the night with a cousin in Griffin, Georgia. They gave me a lead where I might get a job in a hosiery mill as a helper. So, I left early next morning, walked about a mile to the plant. I talked to the foreman, telling him, "Mr. Smith, I don't know anything about a hosiery mill, this is the first time I have ever been in one, but before you say anything let me explain something to you. I have got to have some work as my wife is expecting in about three months. You just tell me what to do today; if I don't do the job right you don't owe me anything, but if I do the job right, the job is mine." Mr. Smith looked straight at me and said, "You do want a job, don't you?" I said, "Yes, Sir, I have got to have a job." He took me up on my offer. I pulled my coat off and rolled up my sleeves and went to work. That night I said to Mr. Smith, "Do I get the job or not?" He said, "Yes." This made me very happy. I went and got some work clothes and mailed my wife a post card. I worked two weeks, twelve hours a day, for $1.00 per day. I rented a two-room duplex and moved in. Three weeks later the plant doubled up the work on the old hands and layed all of us helpers off. This looked like more than I could face. I walked the streets day by day trying to get any kind of job, but to no avail. I was very, very depressed. I almost committed suicide but did not.
So again, I kissed Mae good-bye and told her I did not know where I would go and when I'd be back. I left out walking early one morning and I took $1.00 and a little change with me. I went to Porterdale and Covington and on into Atlanta that same day, but no job. I slept on a cot that night at the Salvation Army Hall. I bought a five-cent pack of Crackers and a five-cent bottle of milk for breakfast. The next morning, I went on to Cartersville, but not a prospect of a job. Then I headed on toward Rome, Georgia, night overtaking me about twelve miles before I got to Rome. I tried to get the hotel manager to let me stay in the lobby since the police would not let me stay on the streets. A railroad man sitting there nearby overheard the manager deny me. He saw me start out, and he asked me to sit down for a while. He went straight to the hotel manager and then disappeared. The hotel manager came and got me and sat me down at a table of food. I was empty and could not eat much because my stomach cramped so badly. He then took me to a nice room upstairs and showed me a bed and said there was no charge.
The next morning about daylight I caught a ride with a man driving a truck loaded with wood on into Rome, Georgia. Again, I tried to find work. One man laughed and told me they were laying off help find covering up machinery. From there I went on to Cedartown, then to Carrollton, and Newnan, but no job. Again, I bought a five cent pack of crackers and a five cent bottle of milk. I had given up hope of finding work.
So, I started walking on toward Griffin to see how Mae was. Sometime way in the night on No: 16 Highway with blistered feet in the "dark dungeon of despair" I came to myself as though I had awakened from a bad dream. My mind began going from one passage of Scripture to another. Finally, I confessed to the Lord I had done all I could do. I then made my vows to Him and asked Him to please help me find work so I could support my wife. After pleading with the Lord, I ·thought of other men I had read about in the Bible. I then said, "Lord, if you are going to help me get a job, please let someone come along and take me home." Just as I was closing this prayer, I saw the lights of a car. It came on, pulled up beside me, and a man asked me if I wanted a ride. I got in and he carried me home. I felt assured God had heard me and would help me get a job.
It came in my mind to go see the night watchman at the plant I had worked. This I did, and I said, "Mr. Chambers, you work seven nights a week, don't you'?" He said, "Yes." I then asked him to let me work one night per week in his place. He made it all right with his boss, so I worked one night a week for $1.50. In the meantime, I took a mattock and dug up a Bermuda brass patch, planted a garden, and worked it with the mattock. The Lord blessed us with vegetables on till frost came. I picked up little jobs that would pay me from $.25 to $1.00 a week.
Later on, the mills began to start up. A friend of mine was promoted to foreman, so he gave me a full-time job. I walked to and from work about a mile and a half each way. I still held to my other part-time jobs until I gave completely out. I then gave up the part-time jobs and stayed on my full-time job.
I am persuaded the Lord was chastising me to prepare me for a work in the future. I have sinned many times; but when I did wrong and realized it, I would chasten myself and try to correct my mistakes. I suppose some of the most trying times came in waves when I was a boy. I was hit hard, so to speak, when I left home determined to make my own living by the help of the Lord. This can be easily understood when you see I had very little public experience and had gone only five weeks in the third grade of school. I worked hard, still reading my Bible, and studying figures and writing.
Then, when I married, the depression was so bad at times we barely had enough to eat. This went on for about two years. Then we both got jobs in Thomaston, Georgia, in January 1934. At this time, the Church of Christ was meeting in the home of some of the members. I began to see the need for work to be done by the Church. We got in touch with some preachers who would come and preach about once a month. We finally borrowed a tent and built some benches and bought song books. We put the tent up and Brother W. L. Shelnutt and Brother J. N. Langley of Alabama, and Brother J. L. McCallum of Atlanta, Georgia, held about a five-week's meeting. One was baptized and I think either one or two were made known to the Church. We later rented a barber shop to meet in, then a cafe. We then bought a lot and built a small church house.
At this time, I was working in the mill in the daytime and doing personal work at night and doing some teaching and preaching. I saw the necessity of this work, and I could not be content to sit down and wait for someone else to do all the work. There was no leadership here, so I put my little talent to work and the Lord has most wonderfully blessed us. Surely God gives the increase when we plant His seed of the Kingdom.
The congregation began to grow, and we enlarged the building. Later another lot was bought, and we built a larger building. Of course, before we built the new building there was discord sown by one man who had moved here and then by the help of another preacher and out of town people, and the Church was divided. This was one of my trying times, as sorrow filled our hearts. Before the division there were about 40 or 50 members. This cut us back to about 20 or 25 members. Some months later some of the ones that were led away came back and were restored to fellowship of the Church.
A short while after the division, the Union City Church of Christ at Union City, Georgia, sent Brother J. A. Dennis with a tent, and he held a two week's meeting. The word of God was truly preached. We had good crowds and a keen interest. At the close of this meeting, a young man and his wife came forward and confessed Christ. On the following Monday afternoon, we went to the creek and I baptized them. This meeting, I believe, was one of the most rewarding meetings I have ever experienced, for it came in a time most needed. It put new strength in us all and was the beginning of a new growth.
This young man referred to was Brother Joe Rogers and his wife Marie. On our way back from the baptism, Brother Joe expressed his deep concern about his good mother, a devout Methodist for many years. As a result, I began to visit the Rogers family and study the Bible with them. Then they began to obey from one to three at a time. This included the Rogers wives and husbands. Then it began to penetrate into other connections of the Rogers family.
Later Brother Dennis was supposed to hold another meeting, but instead he sent a young preacher in his place. He was Brother Cecil Abercrombie. We put up the tent on the vacant lot where our present building is now. Brother Cecil and I worked together, and to the best of my memory we together baptized 32 in the meeting.
Then World War II started. Of course, to our regret some moved away to big money jobs, some went to war, and one conscientious objector, Brother J. B. Granger, was sent to the C. O. Camp. Thank God for a young man like him and others who would choose to suffer affliction with the people of God rather than take part in such an ungodly war, who loved God and His church more than their pride and money. This war weakened the work of the church some. But we kept on. I began preaching in South Georgia on special occasions among my people and old friends that I was raised up with. I baptized my sister.
Later I went down there for a week's meeting out in the open air under a large shad tree. There were many things that made this meeting very difficult. Some of them were bugs, mosquitoes, lots of rain, and a sick baby. We had good crowds and a keen interest. I just planted the seed and God gave the increase. A short while later I got a letter from a young boy saying he had been reading and studying the Bible and believed he understood what to do to be saved.
Arrangements were made for a week-end meeting in a home. This resulted (to the best of my memory) in nine souls being baptized into Christ. Only seven of the nine referred to had confessed Christ and had expressed a desire to be baptized. So, at the water's edge my daddy, who had before been a blasphemer of the Church of Christ, came forward; he and one other man. Both confessed Christ and were baptized and went home in their wet clothing. These people who were baptized got together and started meeting in a home. Later a building was constructed for them to meet in. There are many memories of this work, some very sweet and some very bitter and heartbreaking.
Later the church here in Thomaston and the church at Scott, Georgia, together started the church at Westover Drive in Macon, Georgia. Through the help and cooperation of this Church at Thomaston and other individuals, we established the work and built a building in Ray City, Georgia. This is near Valdosta, Georgia.
In 1956 I moved to the Atlanta, Georgia, area and worked with the State Office Building Authority doing maintenance work. I also worked with the church there for almost fourteen years, coming back to Thomaston about once or twice a month. Most of the older members of the Thomaston church are dead. I feel that the work in Atlanta was rewarding. Several were persuaded to obey the gospel and, of course, there were a lot of sweet and bitter things that happened while there.
In 1961 my baby daughter, Margaret, and I were in a bad car wreck. In 1966 I had a very serious heart attack with many complications. I had to give up my maintenance work and for months I had to lie and sit around. I finally went back on the job. I was still trying to do some personal work with the church, but things turned up on my job that I could not work out unless I gave up visiting those that were sick and talking with the lost. The time came that I had to make the choice between my job or the church. Thank God, I put my faith more in Him who was able to do far more than I ever asked of Him. I gave up the job with the State and did more work in the church. I stayed there doing church work for the Godby Road Church of Christ for eleven months. After I retired on disability, the church supported me for this time until I could sell my house and get some things done, I needed to do. I then began to draw my Social Security money. I bought a much smaller house in Thomaston, Georgia. All but one of my children were born in Thomaston. We moved back to Thomaston the last of December 1969.
The church building in Thomaston was very much in need of repair. I think the congregation had about 21 members, and we made 23. We did what we felt and believed was best to do. First, we got together and made plans and looked into our needs, which were many. We had practically no money in the church treasury and very few members, and most of them not able to work. I began to take my Bible and charts and go into homes teaching and studying the Bible. Not too long after this a young man and his wife obeyed the gospel one night. Later another young couple, then an old couple, then a lady and her daughter. But later one young couple moved away and one elderly lady died. We began slowly to grow in number. But love and cooperation could be felt and seen. The first year we brick veneered and redid the ·building inside and out.
In 1971 we put in air-conditioning. Some few others came back to the church and rededicated themselves. Some gave up their work in the church; yet others have cast their lot with us and obeyed the gospel.
We have a 30-minute radio program each Sunday morning from 8:00 to 8:30, which we feel has helped many people and our work here in this place.
Thus, this is only a few sketches of my life and its ups and downs. It was requested that I write an autobiography of my life. I have studied and meditated on this for months and at this time I want it to be clearly understood that this is not written for praise nor for slander. But I hope that we can all see and fully believe that all things work together for good for them that love the Lord and are called according to his purpose. (See Romans 8:28, also verse 18). "For I know whom I have believed and am persuaded he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day." (II Timothy 1:12)
Miles & Clara Mae Busby
Source: Autobiography of Miles E. Busby
We cannot serve two masters when we come to the forks of the road, narrow and wide, the world or the church, the way of God or the way of Satan. We have to make our own decision and take our choice.
If we would only realize that our life is so short and eternity never ends, and put the Lord's Church and his commandments first in our lives (see Matt. 6:33 and Colossians 1:18-24). Then ask what will it profit me at the end of this life and at the judgement if we accumulate all of this world's goods and neglect our own souls and the souls of others? The life we now live and the condition we die in tells us where we will spend eternity (see John 8:21, Matt. 13:36-43, Matt. 25th Chapter, also Rev. 21:1-7, Rev. 22:12-14, Heb. 2:1-4, Heb. 12:1-2).
After going through this brief sketch of my life, I want to express a few words of exhortation. I want to express some of my hopes and desires.
If it be the Lord's will, while I am still living I want to see all my family's children and grandchildren, and each member of the Church of Christ exercising their talents in the Lord's work, laboring together in unity, peace, and love, and see them abandon the fashions and styles of this world. Dress modestly, be doers of the word, and not hearers only. I realize that "Man which is born of a woman is of a few days and full of trouble." "But blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised them that love him." I hope to have the right to enter into that eternal rest when my work is finished. I hope not to be a burden, but a blessing to others. Time waits for no one—let's make use of the few allotted days given to us and set our house (family) in order for we must die. (See Isa. 38:1. Heb. 9:27, I Cor. 9:27).
In that day we must stand or fall before our own master. So weep not for me or others after we are gone. But weep and pray for me and all that are living. The world is growing worse and worse. We need to draw near to God with a true heart in full assurance. (See Heb. 10:22-29, Hebrews Chapter 4). With the Apostle Paul I want to "commend you to God and to the word of his grace which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all them that are sanctified." (Acts 20:32)
May we all work together for that upper and better place to live not made with hands.
Please read the poems on the following page. I do not know who wrote them, but they have proved to be a blessing to me. I want to pass them on to you.
My wife, my children, and the Lord's Church are my greatest concern. What will our answer be? "For if the righteous scarcely be saved, where will the ungodly and sinner appear?"
Fare ye well.
Miles Edward Busby
Life is like a journey,
Taken on a train,
With a pair of Travelers
At every window pane.
I may sit beside you
All the journey through,
Or I may sit elsewhere
Never knowing you.
But if fate should
Cause me to sit by your side,
Let's be friendly travelers
It's so short a ride.
(Read James 4:13-17)
There are loyal hearts,
There are spirits brave,
There are souls that are pure
Then give to the world the best
And the best will come back to
(Read James 1: 12)
One man plowed an open field
And planted winter wheat:
His labor lasted a year-until
The harvest was replete.
Another wanted his work to
His lifetime through, and so
He planted a tree of oak, and then
With pride watched it grow.
Another planned for eternity:
With diligence and manner mild,
He planted a true and noble thought
IN THE HEART OF A LITTLE CHILD.
Selected (Read Luke 8:11 and Gal. 6:1-10)
My Bible and I
We've traveled together,
My Bible and I,
Through all kinds of weather,
With smile or with sigh!
In sorrow or sunshine,
In tempest or calm!
Thy friendship unchanging,
My lamp and my psalm.
We've traveled together,
My Bible and I,
When life had grown weary,
And death even was nigh!
But all through the darkness
Of mist or of wrong,
I found there was solace,
A prayer, and a song.
So now who shall part us,
My Bible and I?
Shall "Isms" or schisms,
Or "New Lights" who try?
Shall shadow or substance,
Or stone for good bread,
Supplant thy sound wisdom,
Give folly instead?
Ah, no, my dear Bible,
Exponent of light!
Thou sword of the spirit,
Put error to flight!
And still through life's journey,
Until my last sigh,
We'll travel together,
My Bible and I.
(Read Acts 20:32)
Advertisement For A Gospel Meeting
The Dadeville Record, Dadeville, Alabama
Thursday, September 14, 1950, page 6
Alabama Journal, Montgomery, Alabama
Saturday, July 29, 1950, page 3
The Columbus Ledger, Columbus, Georgia
Saturday, April 11, 1953, page 3
The Ashland Progress, Ashland, Alabama
Thursday, December 15, 1949, page 6
The Sylacauga Advance, Sylacauga, Alabama
Thursday, January 31, 1963, page 1
Directions To Grave
The Busby burial location is the Antioch United Methodist Church Cemetery, located north of Thomaston, Georgia, on Hwy. 19. As this writer has not visited the grave, the GPS location is of the cemetery, and not actual grave location.
Source: Source: Kay Kelly, FInd-A-Grave
Photos Taken in 2012
Webpage produced 04.15.2023
Courtesy Of Scott Harp
Special Recognition: One of the members of the Deerfoot church of Christ where my son, Richard Harp, preaches is Sue Adams. She is the youngest child of Miles and Clara Mae Busby. During a recent visit, she shared much of the contents of this page with him, and he shared it with me. Many thanks to Sue and Richard for making this page possible. April 15, 2023