In Memory of
Dorothy Elizabeth Tummel Land
Born to Earth
Aug. 5, 1921
Born Again Child of God
Raised to Godís Presence
March 16, 2013
Praising Jesus Now and playing the piano for the heavenly choir
and Forever more
Dorothy Elizabeth Tummel Land was born Aug 5, 1921 as the only child of Carl Warren and Fannie Maude Tummel. She was born in Muskogee, Oklahoma but the family soon moved to Oklahoma City where she grew up and attended church and school. Growing up she enjoyed reading, music and poetry. She began playing the piano at an early age and taught piano and organ lessons for over 60 years. Dorothy graduated from Classen High school in Oklahoma City as valedictorian of her class of 1939.
Dorothy, as she was known to most, wanted us to share her testimony of faith with you. Here it is in her own words from a 2004 email to her children:
ďI don't remember if I told you children my testimony:† as an 8 year old child, I attended First Baptist Church with Mom and Dad -- spent most sermon times 'sleeping' as children do.† But the message got through!† I remember being at home one evening, sitting on the back steps of the house.† I was facing an operation soon -- now, it was only to have my tonsils out, as all children do these days, or 'did' those days, but it was an OPERATION !† And I would be put to sleep!† The thought occurred to me that I might die during this.† The Holy Spirit sent conviction of sin to this 8 year old - what if I died on the operating table?† I would go to hell, I realized, because I had not asked the Lord to forgive me and make me His.† At church then, I asked Dad to walk to the front with me.† I vividly remember my baptism experience - I even still have a mental image of the dressing room and the baptistery in OK Cityís First Baptist Church, and the dress I wore - it was a small child's dress, kinda like you see on baby dolls these days.†† I also remember the great joy in my heart.† And what do some children do when they are very happy?† They jump up and down.† Guess what?† I jumped up and down in the baptistery.† Of course, I was so small and OKC FBC was so big, I am sure no one ever realized what I was doing - jumping for joy!†† WELL, now at age 82 and soon to be 83, I am still HIS -- and I KNOW from experience what heaven is like. You see, when your older brother, John, was born I had a 'death experience' - I can tell you that the believer 'is absent from the body and present with the Lord' because 'I WAS THERE' !!† By the way, the 'sky' is not blue (there is no need for oxygen) -- the scripture says 'the Lamb is the Light' - so what I remember is a gentle ivory glow.†† I am grateful for all the wonderful gifts of love and family the Lord has showered upon me, and for a place of service in His Kingdom, even at 82!† Love, MOMĒ
In 1939 she went to Oklahoma Baptist University where she met Joe Ray who became her husband and life long partner in Godís ministry. Her talents in music, teaching, children, youth and prayerful listening have been Godís gifts to their ministry. At OBU Dorothy studied Physics, English and French. She only lacked 10 credit hours for her degree when Dorothy and Joe Ray were married Aug 25, 1942 and entered Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary where Joe Ray continued to prepare for the ministry.†
Joe Ray completed his Master of Theology in May 1945 and Dorothy had enough hours to get her degree also but couldnít because she had not finished at OBU. Among the courses she studied in Seminary were Hebrew and Greek. Even into her senior years she was fond of quoting the first few verses of Genesis in Hebrew. During their seminary years God blessed their home with a daughter, Marian Elisabeth. The home was later blessed with two sons: John Robert and David Ray. All are presently active in their churches and serving the Lord.
Dorothy and Joe Ray served at many churches in Oklahoma together. She taught children and youth and played the piano or organ. The ministries included churches in Hunter, Bennington, Fort Cobb, Thomas, Bartlesville, Shattuck, and McAlester. In 1968 Joe Ray was called as Director of Missions at Pittsburg Baptist Association here in McAlester. Dorothy later joined him working as office secretary and helping pastors and other church staff as they came to the office.
Dorothy taught piano at their home to many hundreds of students over the years. She kept this up until 2005 when she finally moved away from McAlester. She also played either piano or organ at each of the churches where they served together. One thing she always insisted that her pupils learn to play the hymns along with their other music. As they became more accomplished she taught them how to follow a music director as accompanists so that they could use their talents in churches.
For years she told us that she wanted to learn the violin and finally at the age of 50 she was given a violin by her daughter-in-law, Marilyn and learned it rather quickly. She joined a small orchestra ensemble that gathered weekly to share their talents. After Joe Rayís death in 2001 she became the church accompanist for Trinity Baptist Church in McAlester for several years. She continued to enjoy playing music the rest of her life.
We rest assured that Dorothy Land stands strong and whole again, singing praises before the Lord and probably playing the piano. We look forward to the day that we too may stand "cleansed by the blood" at the feet of our Lord Jesus.
Dorothy is survived by her three children and their spouses, Maribeth Laster, John Land and David Land. She has six grandchildren, Scott Trimble, Kathryn Laster, Allison Olsen, Jennifer Land, Julie Taylor, Jeremy Land, Andrea Ryan and Erin Land. She also has eight great grandchildren.