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Faith plays a vital role for new resident

For Joanna Woody, faith has always been a central part of her life.

While living with her family over in Schwartz, Missouri, for more than 50 years Joanna built a life that focused on God and her church.

“My husband wasn’t a Christian when we got married,” she said. “I prayed for him for several years, and he got saved. One day one of the neighbors came and asked if we’d start the little country church up again. We thought about it, and prayed about it, and we decided we’d help.”

Joanna played the piano, having taken lessons when she was younger. Jim led the singing.

“It was one of the best experiences we ever had,” she said.

Throughout the years, her children learned how to play various instruments, and they, too, helped with the church music program. Even years later, after the children had moved mainly to other areas, they’d often return to share their talents and faith.

“We had a lot of children in the area, lots of kids got saved and the church grew,” Joanna said. “We had a lot of evangelists come through, too. It used to be a pretty lively town at one time. We used to play movies out in the street. Over time, the kids graduated and left, and people started moving out or passing away. There weren’t many people left there. We were about the last ones.”

Joanna raised eight children in that little country church. Now her family has grown to include 20 grandchildren and nearly 30 great-grandchildren.

“It’ll probably get bigger,” she said.

Jim passed away in 2008, and Joanna stayed in her home for another 14 years before making the move to Fort Scott Presbyterian Village.

Making the change has been difficult, Joanna said, after spending so much of her life in one familiar place.  

“I lived 50 years where I was at,” she said. “Changes are hard. But they’re treating me fine here. Everyone is very good about saying hi to me and it’s getting better. But I do miss my home in the country very much.”

Take time to give a warm welcome to Joanna and thank her for joining our PMMA community.

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