Mrs. John R. Rice’s Note to Her Grandchildren

                   LLOYS RICE

Editor’s Note: This posting was taken from an online blog made by John Himes, grandson of the late, Dr. John R. Rice & Lloys Rice.  John was serving at the time in Japan.  His mother, Mary Lloys Rice Himes was the Rice’s second child.  I knew John before he left for Japan.  He was (is) a fine young man who loved the Lord and honored his parents and grandparents with his life and work.  I post his thread here so you would have a flavor of his dear grandmother, Lloys’ heart for her family and for the Lord.  Mrs. Rice was one of the most diligent and successful prayer warriors I ever knew.  I agree with John’s remarks that a good bit of Dr. Rice’s success was due to his faithful, loving and praying wife, Lloys.  She sat at the bedside of her dear mate rubbing and kissing his feet as he slipped away to Heaven.  I am so blessed to have known her up close and personal.  She was, indeed, the real deal.   

I wanted to add just one last person to this thread, but one thing and another came up and I never got around to it. Here she is now, one of the greatest Christians I’ve ever known, if not the greatest: Lloys Rice, Mrs. John R. Rice, my grandmother.

Lloys was a beautiful and brilliant young lady from a well-to-do Texas family. She met John R. at Decatur Baptist College in 1916, and they began dating right away. They were married after her graduation in 1921, and were a very happy couple. They both went on to seminary at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where she made better grades in Hebrew than he did!

The Christian character of this lady showed up in their family life. They had six daughters (my mother was the second), and Mrs. Rice gave up her art lessons and piano ability so that each one of them could have piano lessons. All six turned into excellent pianists, including one with concert skills (Grace), but Mrs. Rice never again played. However, the whole family served God together as witnesses for Christ and in putting out the early issues of the Sword of the Lord newspaper.

Because of her love for souls, for her husband John R. Rice and for God, in fact for everyone she ever met, the Lord always seemed to me to take a special interest in Lloys Rice. After we came to Japan, she once wrote me a letter which should have no way ever arrived in Japan. I still have the envelope, and the address is correct, but she put four 30 year old Mexican stamps on it—and it made it all the way to Yokohama, Japan, without those stamps being cancelled!

Grandma Rice late in life seemed to simply take it for granted that God was on her side and would take care of her. I once rode with her to Nashville to put her husband on the plane for revival meetings. On the way back we exited the freeway, and stopped at the stop sign below. She began to pull out just as a car turned in front of her to get on the freeway. Somehow that car’s bumper took out the plastic—only the plastic—in the blinker on Grandma’s left front fender, doing no more damage than that. It was the closest I’ve ever seen to an accident without one happening!

In some ways she blossomed even more after John R. Rice died, living until well into her 90’s. Preachers and Christians young and old would come to the house on Franklin Road in the outskirts of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for prayer and advice. I have had many tell me they stopped by in those days and were greatly blessed by her sweet Christian character.

She had a heart for the lost, too, and such a prayer life for folks to be saved! In 1984 she gave as a Christmas present a little book entitled, Great Personal Workers, by Faris D. Whitesell, and put in it a letter to each of us grandchildren. Here it is, so that you can know her soul:

“My Dearest Loved:

“I prayed and searched for many days for the best gift I could ever give you and I have chosen this precious book (you already have the Rice Reference Bible).

“I was so thrilled as I read it and have prayed it will awaken your hearts to the thing nearest to our dear Savior’s heart; the precious privilege of saving souls for eternity.

“Some of these have been my personal teacher: L. R. Scarborough, when we were students in Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary at Ft. Worth, Texas. So were Will H. Houghton, Walter L. Wilson and William McCarrell in conferences around the world. Only Uncle John Vassar was completely before my day—I came on the scene the last few years of the time of great revivals. I heard Billy Sunday, Paul Rader, Locket Adair, a great Presbyterian evangelist, George W. Truett (Pastor Evangelist) and many lesser lights.

“I pray you will follow the train of these so greatly used of God to win souls. I love you and want God’s best for you. I wish you knew how my heart runs after you. You are in some way mine. I love you so much and want God’s best for you.

“With All my love,

Grandmother Rice.”

Perhaps now you can see why John R. Rice was so used of God. He had Lloys Rice behind him all the way! After her six daughters all grew up, she took art lessons once again and painted some wonderful pictures. The most poignant of all is a view of her evangelist husband walking out across the tarmac to board his airplane (this was in the old days), a sight she saw all too often. He would go off and see great revivals and hundreds of souls saved, while she stayed at home and prayed and took care of the family. “A prudent wife is from the LORD” (Pr 19:14).

3 thoughts on “Mrs. John R. Rice’s Note to Her Grandchildren”

  1. Thanks for publishing this article that talk about a beautiful example of what a Godly wife, a Godly mother and grandmother should be. Mrs. Rice though gone to be with her Savior, still speaking to us. Glad to know there is a new generation following on her footsteps…

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