Remembering Faith

Ever wonder about the history of the carved stone outside the Chapel, simply bearing the name “Faith”?

In the early 1990’s Jim and Faith Reilly came to Las Cruces from Florida. Jim taught surveying at NMSU and Faith became president of the Mesilla Valley Garden Club.

Remembering FaithAccording to Rosemary Maddox from the Garden Club, soon after Faith took office, she said “I think we should have a garden tour.” After the first tour the Club had a little money. What to do with it? Faith suggested that the Club landscape the Gospel Rescue Mission, which needed landscaping in order to get a certificate of occupancy. Faith made the landscape plan and purchased the plants, and members dug big holes in very hard soil under a scorching sun. There were no homeless men around to help then because the area had none of the development it has today.

When Faith fell victim to ALS, the Tour of Gardens Committee installed the rock in front of the Chapel to honor her. The memorial still pays tribute to the woman who planted the seeds from which grew the Mesilla Valley Garden Club’s Tour of Gardens as well as the Gospel Rescue Mission.

The Tour of Gardens has blossomed into a civic organization that gives thousands of dollars each year to local gardening and beautification projects in the Mesilla Valley. In the same way, thanks to Faith’s selfless service, the Gospel Rescue Mission has blossomed into a vibrant and growing ministry to the homeless and working poor.

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