BROWNWOOD - A celebration of the 88th birthday of Ferris Franklin Akins was hosted by his family on Dec. 17. 2016 in Brownwood.

BROWNWOOD - A celebration of the 88th birthday of Ferris Franklin Akins was hosted by his family on Dec. 17. 2016 in Brownwood. The Akins' met at Underwood's Barbecue which is one of his favorite places and enjoyed lunch together. Andrea offered the prayer thanking God for food and family, especially her dad. Then they went to the home of his youngest daughter, Ferrisa Childs and her husband, Brian in Brownwood. There he was entertained by the singing of "Happy Birthday" (three times as requested by his great grandchildren) and were served from the beautifully decorated table. The table had lovely flowers and pictures of the honoree through the years. Then he enjoyed opening his gifts and especially enjoyed picking (and counting) the fruit from his money tree.

     Ferris was born in McCauley, in Fisher County at the home of his parents, Beulah Mae and Martin Luther Akins. He lived there until he was 13 and then his family moved to Imperial in Pecos County. He participated in all sports at Buena Vista High School. He received a basketball scholarship to Howard Payne College in Brownwood, Texas. There he met Ramona Tennison and they were married May 24, 1952. He has been pastor of Baptist churches in Texas and a director of missions for 65 years. He served as pastor at First Baptist Church in Ballinger from 1964-78 and director of missions for Brady-Coleman-Runnels Baptist Area, with offices in Ballinger from 1978-94. After retirement, he served at Hopewell Baptist Church in Crews, for 20 years before retiring again in March, 2016.

     He and Ramona are blessed with four children, 11 grandchildren and five great grandchildren. Those present for the birthday party were Ramona, daughter Andrea and David Harp and their family, Alayna Guel, Shelby McCaleb and her daughter Lucy and son Hays, and Brennan and Cody Favor and daughter Micah, son Marty Akins and family Danisha and son Eli Bucher and Tilatha and daughter, Jentri Denman, and daughter Ferris and Brian Childs, and their family son Chandler and wife Emily. Their daughter daughter Brianna attended via FaceTime as she is on a mission trip at The World Race and was in Cambodia. Those who could be present were son Ricky and Suzanne Akins and their three daughters, Adrienne, Meredith and Glynis and husbands Brad Warfield, Dustin Allen, and Daniel Clark who were out of state, granddaughter Marleah (refereeing basket ball out of state) and her husband Zack and the three grandsons-in-law, Justin Guel, Daniel Bucher and D.J. Denman who were at work. All of this family is so thankful for Ferris Akins.