Profile Remembrances

Rev. Sylvia Pennington

As Remembered by Dave

Sylvia saved my life. I was married with a young family living in rural Montana. I didn't know a good person could be genetically gay. I thought I had a mental illness or demons. No one could help me, and I was worn out, exhausted from the struggle. Sylvia came to Billings, about 80 miles away. I don't remember the exact year, but it was in the last years of her life. She somehow rounded up names of people who had attended gay events. I was so broke and financially broken that I had to hitchhike to see her, sometimes in rainstorms. I met with her several times. She told me that God loved me and saved my life. I had no money when others ordered catered sandwiches. I could not get the owner of the house to respond to my request for even a heel off a loaf of bread. I had nothing to eat all day. Sylvia shared her sandwich with me. My story is too long to tell tonight. I am amazed that anyone would travel around Montana where there was no one to affirm us, and stand up to all the religious opposition, and spend her own money to reach someone like me. I am still a coward about showing my identity in my small redneck town, but she did not care how many people condemned her. She challenges me to be the same. I never believed in the concept of saints, but I truly think Sylvia is a saint. Sometimes I talk to her in heaven and thank her for rescuing me, just in case she can hear. I have had a happy productive life. I have gone on to save tens of thousands of lives with my agricultural programs, so God had a reason for designing me. All those people would be dead if Sylvia hadn't saved me. 

April 2, 2012