WINNSBORO — Clarence S. Lyles, a Fairfield County resident known for his generosity, has reached his community and other communities as a dedicated member of Gethsemane Baptist Church and The Tuff Ryders of Winnsboro.
The truck driver has been known to leave home at 10 p.m. to help a friend in need or to spend hours visiting the sick and shut-in. Now his community is reaching out in support of their own.
The Sons of Gethsemane, a group with which Lyles sings, has organized a benefit concert for Lyles at 4 p.m. Oct. 19 at Gethsemane Baptist Church in Blair.
This summer, Lyles was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Overnight his mobility and speech became impaired. His wife of 23 years, Evenny, gave up her career as a caregiver to care for her husband.
“After Clarence was diagnosed,” Evenny said, “all I had was faith. It felt overwhelming but I put my faith in God and knew he would get us through it. We pray for remission, and that while the condition is something we take seriously, our faith in God is more powerful and serious.”
As each day approaches for the couple they realise there are different obstacles and challenges that might have to be faced, but they believe that with God anything is possible.
In August, Clarence had surgery and has since seen major improvement thanks to a rigorous physical therapy routine, a willing spirit and strong faith.
Evenny and Clarence are humbled and thankful for support from family, church and community members.
“We are like brothers,” said Alfred Trapp who sings tenor for Sons of Gethsemane. “I believe this fundraiser is something God wants us to do for special reasons. It might be God’s way of telling us we need to go out and save someone’s soul. It may help save our own souls.”
Clarence is thankful for the thoughts, prayers, phone calls, visits, and donations received as he and his family have dealt with life’s changes.
“It feels special to know that people love you and are willing to go an extra mile to show it. I have always tried to treat others as I wanted them to treat me. I have always tried to sow good seeds, and in return, I am reaping good seeds,” he said. “In life there are obstacles that we must go through. That’s when your faith in God is tested. We should never give up or give out but instead should thank God for who He is, the beginning and end and ruler over all.”
He is grateful especially for Pastor Norris Turner and the Gethsemane Baptist Church family and gives special love to the Tuff Ryders of Winnsboro for their support.
The benefit concert will include a love offering for Clarence. Checks can be made out to Clarence Lyles and sent to Alfred Trapp, 20171 Newberry Road, Blair, SC 29015.