Faith Promise Church

Taking Pat Summitt's faith seriously: Sally Jenkins on treating the elderly with dignity

Taking Pat Summitt's faith seriously: Sally Jenkins on treating the elderly with dignity

As you would expect, the news coverage of the death of Pat Summitt has faded at the national level. She was a very important person in the world of women's sports, a legend even, but life moves on. Yes, we will get to that amazing first-person piece by columnist Sally Jenkins in a moment.

Here in East Tennessee, the coverage has continued. Here in Lady Vols territory, she was a local institution and, for many, a person who lived near someone they knew, or they bumped into her at a grocery store, met her at a sports event at a local school or, yes, they knew her from church.

Last week, I wrote a GetReligion piece in which I argued that it was strange for the mainstream press to have ignored the role that Christian faith played in this strong woman's life. This was especially true in light of a reference, in the official obituary posted online by the Pat Summitt Foundation, to the fact that she was baptized, with her son Tyler, in a ceremony of some kind of 2012. This was a year after her Mayo Clinic diagnosis of early onset Alzheimer's disease and a few weeks after she stepped down as coach of the Lady Vols basketball team.

I immediately began hearing from lots of people that there was much more to that story than one event in 2012. Actually, you could catch a hint of that in the language used in that official obituary.

She was most proud of one special moment they shared that outshines all the others. On May 5, 2012, Pat and Tyler were baptized together. On this day, they decided together to go public with their faith and professed their love for and acceptance of Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. On this day, they created the ultimate and eternal memory, together.

The point of my earlier post was not that this baptism was a story in and of itself, but that this event was part of a larger picture.

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