Some of you may have known Methodist minister Thomas Lane Butts Jr. Others may have heard of him. For sure, those of us who crossed his path did not forget him.
Butts passed away a few days ago at age 90 at his home in Monroeville.. My friend Francis Coleman wrote a wonderful article about this native son of Conecuh County. You can read it here.
Butts grew up in the little community of Bermuda which basically straddles the Conecuh/Monroe County line about halfway between Burnt Corn and Repton. He was a dandy, hardly a shrinking violet. And he did not shrink as the civil rights movement settled on the South. A cross was once burned in his yard in Mobile. Eventually his approach to the ministry and church politics began to bump heads.
He served churches in Alabama, Florida and Illinois. He was pastor at Monroeville First United Methodist a number of years. He was also district superintendent of the Dothan District for the Alabama-West Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church..
It was probably 40 years ago that Butts said one of the funniest things I’ve ever heard. He said that his brother tasted a Coca Cola before he did and he asked him what it tasted like.
“It tasted like your foot going to sleep” his brother replied.
I thought then, and still do, that it was one of the most magical uses of the English language I’ve ever heard
Fitting enough, he was buried in a little country cemetery in Bermuda..