“So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.” Luke 15:20
Sharon Sandefur was born in 1956 in Lincoln, Nebraska into a family of two boys. Her parents loved the Lord and wanted to be sure their kids were raised in a Christian school and so she went to Adventist schools all the way through High School: Mile High Academy and two years at Campion Boarding Academy. She also attended Union College after graduating from academy.
Sharon started working for a company that leased and rented apartments and during that time, she drifted away from attending church and didn’t have a strong walk with the Lord. During those times her dad recalls that in his talks he would gently ask her: “Is there anything I can do to encourage your walk with Christ?” but was always mindful not to push her in any way. Sharon’s answers to these talks were: “I won’t come back until I give my whole heart to God” and “I’ll probably go to an evangelistic meeting if Mark Finley ever comes to town.”
After several years she moved to Orlando to work in the accounting department of an orthopedic clinic and she met a young man named Ted Williams that she fell in love with. As their courtship progressed she mentioned that she wanted to be married in the Adventist church. Her father told her that if she wanted to be married in an Adventist church to a non-believer she couldn’t do it and so Ted came to Sharon’s father and wanted to do whatever was necessary to marry Sharon. He took Bible studies from the local pastor there in Orlando and accepted Christ into his heart and was baptized at the church. Three weeks later, Sharon and Ted were married at the Adventist church. After they were married though, they discontinued attending church much and from what Sharon had shared with me, lived a very worldly life.
15 years into their marriage, Ted had a motorcycle accident and wasn’t able to work in his job as the head of the bakery department in the Florida Hospital anymore. Sharon stepped into the care-giver role and attended to his needs for several years until his death in 2011. During that time, Mark Finley came to Orlando to hold evangelistic meetings and Sharon’s father reminded her of the somewhat empty promise she had made to him some time ago about attending meetings held by Mark Finley. Sharon and Ted both made the decision to follow her father’s invitation and during the meetings they gave their “whole heart” to the Lord and were later re-baptized at Highland Academy during the 2010 Kentucky-Tennessee Conference camp meeting where they had moved to be closer to family.
The Highland SDA Church was a nurturing and kind church whose attention and love towards Ted and Sharon compelled them to grow in their faith and also become involved in the church. Sharon volunteered to teach music and choir at the Highland Elementary School and sang in the choir at church and played the piano and organ.
In 2002, Sharon had fought off breast cancer successfully but when it returned in 2013 it had invaded her whole system and she couldn’t recover.
Her last words to her dad, who was by her side when she passed away, were: “I really love Jesus.”
When I met with Sharon during camp meeting of 2013 to work on her estate planning documents, she told me that she was going to die. I was impressed by her peace and strength that she exuded. She wanted to be sure that a trusted family member would handle her estate and that her family and local church at Highland was going to be remembered in her Last Will and Testament.
Just like Sharon Williams took advantage of our services, we invite you to contact us for an opportunity to assist you in developing your own personal estate plan here at the Kentucky-Tennessee Conference Trust Services Department.