By George Hickman
I am writing about Velma Louise Gutting because I feel there is more to be said about this saint. The people who knew her, know what I mean. She was an outstanding per-son in all respects.
Velma Louise Gutting was born June 24,1909 and died September 12, 1996 at the age of 87. Her immortal spirit departed to rest in the bosom of Abraham (Luke 16:22), where she would no longer suffer pain and sorrow of this world (Rev 21:4); the former things are now passed for her.
“She was known by many as Velma but to me she was sister Gutting.” When I came to Kahoka, Missouri in August 1992 and began working with the Westside Church of Christ, I was very impressed with the work she had done over the years, keeping the doors open and the congregation together. Many times when the weather was cold and the streets were iced over, she would walk over to the church building, turn the lights on and read the Bible lesson on Wednesday night by herself. She wanted to be sure the building was warm and always open.
There was probably no Christian or person in Kahoka, or anywhere she was known who was more loved and respected than Velma Gutting. People would call or come by for advice on gardening, quilting, cooking, budgeting, and other matters. She was a very wise lady. Business men would seek information. Even her banker would call for advice on many occasions. She was absolutely untiring in her service to her family, her community, but most of all to the Lord’s service. No task was too small and none too great for her to perform.
She was always the preacher’s best friend and helper. Personally, I do not know what I would have done without her encouragement and advice during my time here. It is hard now that she is gone. I think of trips we made together, the telephone calls each morning, seeing her mowing her yard, working in the garden, or just visiting with neighbors.
To me she was a beautiful personification of the “Virtuous Woman” (Prov. 31:10-31). “Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies.” If you had the privilege of knowing Velma Gutting, then you knew a virtuous woman.
Sister Gutting was a devoted mother to her son Sidney and a second mother to many others. She was there to help in any way she could.
A Composite of Bible Women
As we study Sarah, wife of Abraham who is the “father” (or prototype) of God’s faithful spiritual children through-out time (Rom. 4:16), she is honored by inspiration because she obeyed Abraham, calling him Lord (1 Pet. 3:6). Like Sarah, sister Gutting recognized and honored the headship in both the home and in the church.
Jochebed, mother of Moses, deliverer of Israel and a type of Christ (Exod. 2:15; Acts 3:22-23; 1 Cor. 10:1-11), saw the superior qualities of her infant son. She protected, nourished, and developed them at the risk of her own life. She found a way to beat all odds and raised her son. Sister Gutting saw the good qualities in her son, and anyone who knows Sidney Gutting can see the love and care she gave him. You could also see the love and dedication of her daughter-in-law Phyllis. This was demonstrated in the care she gave sister Gutting in her last days on earth.
We read and study about other women of the Bible. The ones who knew Velma Gutting could see some of their qualities in her, such as Hannah (1 Sam.1:20) or Deborah (Judg. 4:4). Sister Gutting was an outstanding leader among the women of the church and had limitless moral courage. She was devoted to the Lord and worked hard for the cause of the Christian life.
She gave her love, time, and finances so Christians would be able to have a new auditorium. Many donations for the project came from friends. Also people came with her son (Sidney) from Louisville, Kentucky (approximately 450 miles), once a month to help build the building. People also came from places like St. Louis, Warrenton, and St. Peters, Missouri to work on the building.
Sister Gutting opened her house to the people who came. She gave them good home cooked meals and a comfortable place to stay. Many said it was worth the long trip just to be able to eat her cooking. No one could forget her apple pie.
Like Phebe, a servant of the church at Cenchrea (Rom.16:1), sister Gutting was a servant of the church that meets at 671 W. Thompson Street, Kahoka, Missouri. She was very dependable. She was always ready to visit the sick, the new corner, visit the nursing home, and do any-thing she could to help further Christianity.
Sister Gutting’s place in the congregation will be hard to fill for she was indeed a “Virtuous Woman.”
Guardian of Truth XLI: 5 p. 12
March 6, 1997