Stephania H. Davis
Saturday, February 10, 2001
Opha Bingham had a secret and many people wanted to know it. So when she wrote "One Step More, Lord," together with her husband in 1984, it was her attempt to explain her incredible life living with multiple sclerosis.
"A lot of people came to her to find out how she coped and helped others at the same time," said her daughter, Linda Lacy of Athens. "Even though she was very ill, she managed to still be a witness."
Mrs. Bingham was a mother with two young children and wife to a church minister when she received the diagnosis.
"And for 10 years she had a relatively common life. But the disease gradually encroaches," said her husband, the Rev. Robert E. Bingham of Atlanta. "But she took it in stride. She never used it as an excuse for failure or disappointment."
The memorial service for Opha Mae Bingham, 76, of Atlanta, who died of pneumonia Sunday at Hospice Atlanta, is 11 a.m. today at Wieuca Road Baptist Church. The body was donated to Emory University School of Medicine.
A native of Lockwood, Mo., Mrs. Bingham grew up on a farm. She was working as a secretary in Kansas City, Mo., when she met the Rev. Bingham. The couple married in 1947.
"She was very committed to things of value," he said. "Being kind to people, assisting folks who had a difficult time making do, things like that. She did not have much patience for things that were not of value."
The couple moved to churches in St. Joseph, Mo., and Greenville, S.C., before coming to Wieuca Road in 1960. They also traveled the United States and more than 30 countries on mission trips.
"I was always speaking or teaching, but it was her who had the most impact," said the Rev. Bingham. "She would go from using her cane to her walker to her wheelchair, and just the fact that she made the trip moved people. She was the one who got through to them about faith."
Survivors include another daughter, Nancy Dunaway of Denver; a sister, Eunice Bray of Kansas City; a brother, Hubert Stump of Lockwood; and a granddaughter.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions to the Bingham Mission Trip Scholarship Fund, Wieuca Road Baptist Church, 3626 Peachtree Road, Atlanta, GA 30326.