Helen Parrish

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Helen Evans Parrish died on May 3, 2010, at Shelby Baptist Medical Center in Alabaster. She was born on December 27, 1923, the daughter of Evan and Glennie Parrish.

Helen was a graduate of Chilton County High School, Alabama College (now the University of Montevallo), and studied at Columbia University in New York City.

Helen had a popular radio program on WKLF and served as program director for the station. She also taught speech at Alabama College. Her most significant contribution to the people of Chilton County came through her serving on the staff of First United Methodist Church in Clanton for over 50 years!

God used Helen to start the first ministry of education for special children in Chilton County through the church. This was years before our public schools offered educational opportunities for special children. She was known in Clanton for initiating her summer “God’s World” classes for children, seeking to teach youth through leading the church youth group, starting a group for elementary students (United Methodist Junior Fellowship), writing and directing Christmas pageants, and mentoring promising young people. God has used her as a primary influence in the lives of over 20 people who entered the pastoral ministry!

An active participant in community affairs, Helen was a member of the Pilot Club and the Alabama Federation of Music Clubs. She was named Citizen of the Year by the Chilton County Chamber of Commerce in 1994, and in 1996 she was admitted into the Alabama Senior Citizens Hall of Fame.

In recent years, Helen became known as “Saint Helen” by the congregation of First Methodist. This was a term of respect and endearment for her as a living example of how a follower of Christ should live. She loved everyone with God’s unconditional love. She regularly prayed for hundreds of people. She humbly served her Lord by caring for people daily.

Helen’s focus was rarely on herself. And it was obvious to everyone that her ministry and love flowed from her love relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. The church honored the service of “Saint Helen” in October 2005 by celebrating “Helen Parrish Day” and naming the activity center the “Helen E. Parrish Activity Center.”

Helen’s life will be celebrated Thursday, May 6, in the sanctuary of the First United Methodist Church. Visitation will take place from 12:30- 1:50 p.m., and the worship service will begin at 2 p.m. Her burial will follow at Clanton City Cemetery.

Martin Funeral Home (www.martinfuneralhomeinc.com) directing.