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Faced with circumstances beyond her control, “Vira” faced serious setbacks in her early education and was forced to pursue a career as a seamstress – and she was good at it. For many years she served the people of Richland Park and beyond, with classy hand-work and machine embroidered designs that made her name the subject in almost every household.
Vira’s youthfulness and grace captured the eyes of the handsome, Henry (Castello) Speedwell who won her heart, and sought her hand in marriage. As fate would have it, Henry who traveled to Trinidad to work, never got to return to St. Vincent to make her his wife. The loss of her beloved Henry drove a dagger into her dreams of an exciting future with him. However, as a practicing Methodist, she found in Christ, the faith, will and determination to rise above the tragedy.
Years later, another suitor succeeded in wooing her, and changed her surname to McCoy. Again, Trinidad dealt her another death blow, a pain that lingered for years, until she experienced a divine experience.
Yes. In that land that broke her heart twice, she listened to the proclamation of the gospel on radio. The Spirit of God appealed to her and won her commitment to serve Jesus as Savior and Lord.
Building on the roots of her Methodist heritage, she eventually settled into the fellowship of the Church of Christ. That marked a dramatic milestone in her life. From that moment, the divine transformation was manifested continuously in her words, deeds, and action. What a journey she was about to embark on, with the Lord Jesus!
Bubbling with passion to live for Jesus, and to tell others of His love, in 1976, she returned to St. Vincent, sought out the Church of Christ, and commenced her witnessing for Jesus. Alone, she organized Bible Story Time for children, and as God improved her knowledge of the Bible, she shared with more and more villagers. In time, a nucleus of believers assembled, and developed into the foundation of a congregation.
From time to time, Church of Christ ministers and members throughout St. Vincent and the Grenadines frequented the little group. In turn, “Ms McCoy” tracked as many places as the Church visited. But, the pillar of the Richland Park body of believers, she kept focus and helped shape and preserve its identity. Buttressed by the calm and sincere leadership of “Brothers” Jack and Cumberbatch, she saw her spiritual vision realized: a Church of Christ congregation was officially established in Richland Park.
That accomplished, her vision broadened. As with any great visionary, she knew that a home for the congregation was essential to its survival. In that regard, her big and generous heart responded to the call of the Holy Spirit to make a covenant with God by sacrifice, and she did. She squeezed out a strip of her land next to her house, and dedicated it for a small church building. That monument now stands as a symbol of a life lived for God.
Gone, but never to be forgotten, Mother McCoy, Sister McCoy, Tanty Vi, Ms McCoy loved sincerely, and was loved dearly in return. Through these titles of endearment, she will continue to speak for God, through every worshiper who will file in and out of the small edifice she erected in His name.
May all who cherished, and now mourn her passing live with the hope of seeing her again in the first resurrection. For we believe that she, undoubtedly read, knew, and wholeheartedly believed with the Apostle Paul in 1Thessalonians 4: 16, 17 that the Lord [Jesus] Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words (v 18).
Behold, she shall sleep until Jesus returns!