Greenhaws gave it all up to deliver the Word

GREENVILLE — Lloyd and Nancy Greenhaw spoke to 50,000 people at one time in Rwanda a few months ago, yet they expended as much energy holding a mission for less than 100 a night at Our Lady of the Rosary Parish on the weekend of Oct. 15-17.

“The folks here are so friendly,” Lloyd Greenhaw said. “They’re the salt of the Earth.”

The parish mission was called “Follow Me: The Joy and Challenge of Discipleship.” It was characterized by sweet singing and spicy preaching. The evangelists ended things by holding a healing service Sunday evening.

Marie Connors, a parishioner since 1971 and a regular at OLR’s annual mission, called the evenings “very informative, very interesting.” Charles T. Rooney, grand knight at the parish, said it was “exciting to see.”

The Greenhaws performed (no lesser verb will suffice) with verve, high energy and a vast knowledge of the Bible. Their theme was that the Catholic Church exists to evangelize and so every member of that church can do no less. On Friday, they taught Jesus as our model for discipleship; on Saturday, it was the call to holiness; on Sunday, participants were challenged to go out and do some actual evangelizing.

“If you don’t experience a transformation in your life, we’ve failed you,” Lloyd said. “Jesus wants you to know the fullness of his love in your life.”

The evangelists claimed that all sin in the world has as its root source the fear of death, a fear that has been manipulated by Satan since the fall of Adam and Eve. They said that evangelizing means to introduce people to Jesus Christ and to help cure a sick world.

“How many Apostles do you think believed it when Jesus told them that it would be better if he left them? But it was, and God is going to give you the same gifts he gave the Apostles, the same Comforter that helped them overcome their fears. The same Spirit that was in Peter is in you,” Greenhaw said.

The parish Evangelization Team chose the Greenhaws for the parish mission after Father Dac T. Tran heard about them at a conference. Team co-chair Catherine R. Henderson and her committee researched the couple, and she was impressed by what she found out. The Greenhaws were successful businesspeople, he a top salesman and she a noted watercolorist, when they read Pope John Paul II’s treatise, “Mission of the Redeemer.”

“They gave up lucrative careers, the big house … . They gave it all up. That’s not something people do today,” Henderson said.

“They gave it all up and became lay evangelists,” marveled a team member, Tommy Smith. “It’s evident that they live their faith.”

Henderson said the team was impressed with the commitment of the Greenhaws and with the depth of their Catholic faith. The married couple has traveled to Cuba, Estonia, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania and the Sudan, as well as Rwanda, leading evangelization teams into the field. They charged no fee for the parish mission at Our Lady of the Rosary, but donations were taken up for them, and they stayed with Judy and Tommy Smith’s family.

The Greenhaws’ Web site is