SHADES STORIES

Frances

Story by Jordan Cox | | Photography by Tate Hipps

Frances Logan was raised in a loving home in Birmingham’s West End. She grew up going to church – her family attended West End Baptist Church before moving and joining Hunter Street Baptist Church, located then in the Fairview neighborhood.

“I enjoyed going to church,” Frances says. “One Sunday morning, [the pastor] knew where I was sitting. When he gave the invitation, he pointed at me to come down. I joined, and I loved it.”

Her parents followed Jesus and raised their family – including Frances’ older sister Clara Jean and younger brother Bill – to know right from wrong during a difficult time for the city. A decline in agriculture preceded the Great Depression, which crippled the country throughout the 1930s.

Active in church throughout her childhood and teenage years, Frances’ life mirrored what her parents instilled. She led a social life – youth activities at church and movies were popular among her group of friends.

Frances was baptized as a child with her father when the family joined West End Baptist. He came from a different denomination, and the pastor thought it was a good idea for the two of them to be baptized.

“He asked my father, ‘Why don’t you let Frances be baptized with you?’ Well, he should’ve talked to me to find out if I [had been saved],” she explains, “but he didn’t.”

Even still, Frances was baptized and got involved. She figured she had done everything necessary to be a Christian – a “good” person, as she describes.

“I enjoyed every bit of [church],” she says. “I just knew in my heart that I really wasn’t a Christian.”

Frances married Ken Logan on October 16, 1953. When asked how they met, her face lights up with a smile, and she begins to laugh and retell the story.

“They moved to Birmingham; his daddy took a job on the west side,” she remembers. “On Saturday when they were moving in, two men drove up and said, ‘Well we see you’re moving in. We’re visiting today from Hunter Street Baptist Church, and we’d like to welcome you and ask you if you wanted to come up and visit with us.’”

Ken’s family had intended to visit some friends at West End Baptist, but his family woke up late that Sunday morning and missed church.

“So Ken’s daddy said, ‘Let’s just go [to Hunter Street],’” Frances continues. “They got up there, and it was youth day. The church was packed. When the invitation was given, his daddy looked at him and said, ‘What do you think about this church?’ Ken said, ‘If you can pack a church on youth day, I think it’s got something.’ And they joined that day.”

Ken became known in the church and attended the youth section of an evening class called Baptist Training Union.

“That’s where I met him,” she says. “Just a little later on, he asked me out, and that was it.”

According to family stories, Ken knew he’d marry Frances when he first saw her singing in the choir during his family’s visit to Hunter Street. They dated for more than two years and knew that if they married, they wanted to raise a family in a godly home. However, Frances hadn’t yet repented of her sin and received the saving grace of Jesus.

“I was miserable,” Frances says without a moment’s pause in her sunroom on a mild, sunny March day.

She recounts a revival at Hunter Street she attended as a young adult – a revival that changed her life.

“I had to work that Saturday. Of course, I went to Sunday school and church on Sunday morning. We had two-week revivals back then,” she continues. “A feeling of conviction had been working on me all week. 

“Sunday afternoon, Ken called and said, ‘Let’s go for a ride.’ He didn’t know this was working on me. After we started the drive, I wasn’t having much to say. He knew something was wrong, and he asked me and I told him. That was before cell phones, and he had to find a phone. He went and called our pastor. [The pastor] said, ‘Bring her on over here.’ He did, we had a conference time, and I made my decision then.”

To that point, Frances’ experience with faith was about knowledge. Through that revival week, and her conversation with Ken and her pastor, she realized that she was a sinner and that God sent his Son, Jesus, to die for her. Frances experienced a genuine moment of salvation. Knowledge became belief.

“It didn’t bother me until that revival,” Frances says when asked if she knew she wasn’t a Christian after her baptism as a child. “I was a church member but not a Christian. I believe it really had something to do with Ken and me dating.”

Ken’s willingness to initiate a potentially hard conversation – and her willingness to be truthful – set the stage for a lifetime of serving God as a couple. 

After the revival, Frances and Ken married and began to build a family, to whom they would impart the Gospel.

We’re sitting in a room that Ken added onto the house as the family grew. Family was important to Ken and Frances. One Thanksgiving, someone joked that he should knock down a wall and expand the sunroom to have more space at holiday gatherings. The next morning, the wall was removed. 

“We tried to live the Christian life,” Frances, now 89, says. “We were in church every time you turned around.”

Ken served as a deacon, and Frances resigned from the Social Security Administration when she became a mother. Both she and Mr. Ken lived their faith boldly. “Church was the biggest part of our lives,” she says.

Shortly before Hunter Street moved to its current location in Hoover, Ken and Frances joined Shades. He became involved in the prayer ministry, and she started working in the nursery. 

“Bill Reed called me into his office and asked me if I’d mind working in the nursery,” Frances says, as she starts to chuckle. “I said, ‘Sure, I’d love it!’ He said, ‘I’ve never had anyone say yes that quickly.’”

She’s served in worship care since 1986, continuing to care for newborns despite having stopped driving recently.

“I don’t hold babies anymore,” she says. “Now, I sit there, love them, and rock them.”

Frances wrote in a note in 2017,  “Ken went to be with our Heavenly Father on October 4, 2014, and had he lived to October 16, we would have served God together 61 years.