Couples who celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary can count themselves very fortunate these days. Couples who are able to celebrate their 75th anniversary, like Charles and Millie McGregor, count themselves extremely blessed and favored by God.
The McGregors, of Edmond, Oklahoma, marked their diamond anniversary on Monday. And they both continued to serve the Lord with the infectious fervor they felt many years ago when the Holy Spirit touched both of their lives.
At 95 and almost 97, the McGregors are physically unable to attend church on a weekly basis. But on any given Sunday they can be found in front of their television, enjoying the messages of preachers such as Robert Morris and Charles Stanley. During the week, both Charles and Millie read their Bible daily, underline passages and pray with the youthful exuberance of teenagers at a YWAM rally.
"They are still teachable and learning and hungry," said Paula McGregor-Sterns, one of four of the McGregors' daughters. "I am so thankful for my heritage."
For their 75th anniversary, the McGregors have received letters and cards from ministry leaders like Jack Hayford, Pat Boone Billy Wilson, Beth Moore, James Robison, Rob Hoskins, Jonathan Brooks and Micah Davis.
Both third-generation farmers, from Kansas and Oklahoma, the McGregors met as children. The couple's parents were also good friends. Charles and Millie eventually married on Feb. 8, 1941, before Charles enlisted in the U.S. Army to serve his country in Europe during World War II. The McGregors' first child, Judy, was born in 1944, but because of his tenure in the Army, he didn't meet her until she had turned 18 months.
"My parents ended up raising four daughters on their farm in Oklahoma," McGregor-Sterns said. "They planted wheat, oats and barley and raised Black Angus cattle and sheep. My mother went back to school to receive her nursing degree at the age of 43, and all of their daughters received a college education, which was unheard of for a farming family. Our parents retired debt-free (thanks to his business background) off the farm in Kansas 11 years ago when they moved to Edmond."
McGregor-Sterns said her parents were raised as Christians in two different denominations. Yet Charles never considered himself a true follower of Christ until a significant event occurred.
"We went to church all of our lives, but we weren't believers until we encountered the Holy Spirit," Charles said.
It was the McGregors' faith and prayers, Paula said, that helped save her sister, Dianne. Born a "blue baby" in in 1947, Dianne had an irregular heart with valves that didn't work correctly, so her heart enlarged to three times the normal size. She wasn't expected to live past the age of seven, but Charles' mother, Viola, whom Paula said was a "woman of great faith" and "who had recently had an experience/awakening with the Holy Spirit," invited Charles and Millie to bring Dianne to a Foursquare church in Kansas City, where there was a man there who prayed for healing. When they visited the doctor again, Dianne's heart was completely normal! She is now 68 and has grandchildren of her own.
Later the McGregors met a woman named Anna Rains, who introduced them to the Holy Spirit. Rains would teach all four of the McGregors' daughters in Sunday school at a Caldwell, Kansas, Assemblies of God church.
"My parents faithfully served the Lord all of their lives with great enthusiasm to see the Word come alive by the power of the Holy Spirit," McGregor-Sterns said. "They taught Sunday school classes, had Bible studies in their homes, supported many missionaries over the years, invited itinerant preachers and evangelists into their home. They raised their four daughters to wholeheartedly serve the Lord all of their lives. We all remember seeing our dad kneeling by his bedside before he went to sleep at night, Mother always prayed with us, and my dad always had his tithe check written out on Saturday night to present on Sunday morning. We prayed over each meal whether it was at home in private or out in public, for we weren't ashamed."
The McGregors have supported many missionaries financially and they were senders of those going on short-term missions. They also hosted many itinerant preachers, evangelists and prophets in their home.
The McGregors' family legacy will continue for generations to come. They have 11 grandchildren and 27 great-grandchildren, which include five nurses, two doctors, eight businessmen and businesswomen, five teachers, one head of an international airline, two mathematics teachers, two attorneys, one coach and one pastor.
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