An Unlikely Union

Shirley was born in the hill country near West Union, Ohio (Adams County). Soon after she was born, her dad was called to serve in World War II. When he came home from the war, they started to move north to find job opportunities. They started at Hillsboro; then to Xenia; and finally to Christiansburg, where her dad retired. He was a farmer, and he loved it. When she was nine, her family started singing and sang all over Ohio and the surrounding states. In her travels, she met up with a young preacher and singer named Raymond McDaniel Jr. Her friends all told her he was not good enough for her. But ignoring everyone’s advice after she graduated from high school, a few months later, she eloped with him to Sparta, North Carolina. Even under stress from her family and friends, she started a new life singing in evangelism with Ray for five years. He then took a church to pastor and pastored for fifty years at the East Columbus Community Church of Christ in Christian Union. She took care of Ray at home when he took sick and suffered from dementia until he died. They were married for fifty-seven years. From the beginning, God certainly had a purpose for this young girl’s life and used her to make a difference in the lives around her.

--Shirley McDaniel

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