When Allison Kinion was a little girl, she always felt like her grandmother, Margaret Knight, had a thousand tricks up her sleeve.
For one, at the children’s bath time, Knight would take an old wooden spool, rub the end of it over a bar of soap and then blow bubbles with it.
The name “Bubbles” stuck.
“She was Grandmommy Bubbles to us from then on — that’s what everyone called her,” said Kinion, women’s missions and ministry director for the State Convention of Baptists in Indiana.
The things Knight did made an impact on the kids, from bubbles to baking and from gardening to missions. So much so, in fact, that she could’ve been called Grandmommy Missions, too.
“She was just an incredible example,” Kinion said. “And she was super passionate about missions.”
As much as Kinion’s family remembers the bubbles, they also remember sitting around the table at meals wondering how long it would take Knight to get to one of her trademark speeches.
“She would say, ‘You know, there is a church on every corner here in our town. We need to be sending our people and our resources overseas to the people who don’t know Jesus.’”
A member of Woodlawn Baptist Church, Birmingham, Knight served in various roles with her church’s WMU group for more than 30 years.
She had “an extraordinary love for international missions,” Kinion said. “To my knowledge I don’t know if she ever went on a trip, but she was a strong voice in her congregation for the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering and international missions.”
Knight cared about the lost from Birmingham to the other side of the world, Kinion said — even in her family.
“My parents had brought me up in church, but it was my grandmother who prayed with me to receive Christ,” Kinion said. “It’s just one example of how missions, to her, was everywhere — even in her own family.”
Sometime after Woodlawn Baptist relocated, Knight moved too — to a retirement home.
But even there she kept stoking the fire of missions.
“She was great, because in a loving way she would double check with my father every single week to make sure he had written her tithe check,” Kinion said. “And when the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering rolled around, she wanted to make sure he took care of that for her — the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering, too. She never gave up that passion for the Cooperative Program and our missions offerings.”
Kinion said she believed that passion had a lot to do with why she’s in the role she’s in today.
“I think just her heartbeat for missions transferred through my parents to my sister and I,” she said. “It was just built in.”
The family recently honored that built-in legacy by purchasing a brick in Knight’s memory on WMU’s new Walk of Faith brick garden. The walk, built on New Hope Mountain in Birmingham, recognizes missions heroes past and present.
Kinion said Knight definitely fits the bill.
“Her heart was for the missions field and sharing Christ with other people,” Kinion said. “She made an incredible impact.”