Archives For Family

It’s safe to say I’m a big Texas fan. Unapologetically obnoxious to be honest. I adore all things Lone Star State. I read Texas history textbooks for fun, make runs to the Bullock Texas History Museum whenever I’m in Austin, and am grateful for the fact that I was born in the Republic. The last fact makes me a native Texan which, for a Texas geek, is a nice feather in the cap (though I readily acknowledge I had no choice in the matter).

With that said, I’ve always been curious as to how many generations of a Texan I am. Three? Four? Maybe Five? I didn’t have a clue. That was until my aunt recently gave me some genealogical work from another relative. My task: find how many generations I could go with an unbroken line of native Texans up to the initial immigrating ancestor. What I found surprised and elated me.

Let me count native Texans from the past to the present:

  • 1st Generation: My great4 grandfather John Slocumb and great4 grandmother Sarah Slocumb (nee. Shoat) are the first Texans. They moved to Bastrop, Texas, sometime before 1848. Some data points to the possibility they originally hailed from Louisiana. I found no date of their arrival in Texas.
  • 2nd Generation: Sarah gave birth to my great3 grandmother, Elizabeth Slocumb Morin on May, 13, 1848, in Bastrop. Elizabeth married my great3 grandfather, A.C. Morin, a carpenter and respected citizen of Houston (who, at his death, lived at 1514 Washington St., but originally was from Philly).
  • 3rd Generation: Elizabeth “Bettie” aka “Nannie” Morin Brown was born in 1868 in Houston. She is my great2 grandmother (who my mom knew, since she lived up to 1960). She married my great2 grandfather, George P. Brown, Sr., (originally of St. Louis but had moved to Houston where he met Bettie).
  • 4th Generation: George P. Brown, Jr., aka “Partie” (say par-TEE) was born in 1887 in Houston. He is my great grandfather and married my great grandmother, Erma Lee Franks.
  • 5th Generation: Elizabeth “Betty” Brown Cook, my grandmother, was born in 1913 in Houston. She married Jesse Vernon Cook.
  • 6th Generation: Betty Cook Arrington, my mother, was born in 1938 in Houston. She married my father, Gene Arrington.
  • 7th Generation: Me: Yancey Cook Arrington. I was born in 1971 in Lubbock.
  • 8th Generation: My sons: Thatcher Cook, Haddon Davis, and Beckett Trace Arrington, were born in 2001, 2004, 2006, respectively, in Houston.

My great-great grandparents’ house at 2403 Caroline St. (circa 1890; demolished in 1963) when Houston had a population a little over 27,000. It was built by my great-great-great grandfather A.C. Morin. I believe my great grandfather (Partie) is the individual in the carriage, his father George and mother Bettie to the right. The infant is Partie’s brother Cleve. (Photo credit: Rebecca Gregory) P.S. – My mom, who remembers this house well, said to call this home you had to tell the operator, “Fairfax 36078.”

Needless to say, I was thrilled with my discovery that I was a seventh-generation Texan!1 Interestingly, four out of the six native Texan generations are Houston births. Five out of seven if you include my children. All of it’s been fascinating to see. It also makes me geek out on Texas stuff all the more.

An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels.
– Proverbs 31:10


June 1, 1996, at Scofield Memorial Church, Dallas, Texas

Twenty years ago. Wow. It’s hard to believe that two decades have passed since Jennefer Shannon Lang and I, with family and friends gathered together, exchanged vows before the Lord to be united as husband and wife. In 2016, she is still stunning, lovely, godly, and the possessor of my heart. I always tell people that the person they see in public is the same one I see in private. She loves Jesus, cherishes her kids, and puts up with me (most of the time).

I come from a family with parents who are celebrating 56 years of marriage. I can only trust by faith that Jen and I will be follow along in those same footsteps for the good of our family and the glory of God. I love you Jenne-Jenn! Happy 20th Wedding Anniversary!

The Arringtons, May 2016

The Arringtons, April 9, 2016, Houston, Texas


Leading the church is a demanding task. There will be times when you come home late because of the work pastoring demands. The problem is when those seasons become the norm instead of the exception, and we spend more time investing in our churches than in our families.

This temptation is easier to succumb to if we don’t center our identity in the gospel but instead in being a pastor. Now the success of our church – in its ministries, numbers, or simply how we want our congregants to view us – becomes the thing for which we live and, consequently, that which we give the bulk of our time.

It’s no secret many churches both big and small are led by unhealthy pastors who’ve made their local church a priority over and above their marriages and families. This can be especially true of church planters who work feverishly to get their local church off the ground.

But a brave pastor invests in his family. He pours into his wife, his kids. A brave pastor knows his home is the first church he pastors. That’s why one of the elder qualifications in 1 Tim. 3:4 is that “he must manage his own household well.” A healthy pastor must lead the little church (family) before he leads the big church. A brave pastor consistently fights the pull of ministry, the ache that things need to be done (by only him), and the siren’s call that tells him his identity is anchored to the “success” of his church.

Conversely, unhealthy pastors make excuses for their inattentiveness at home. They can easily guilt their spouses saying the church must have this or that from their leadership in order for things to work. They can also drop the God bomb on them: “Listen honey, this is why I’m the pastor God called to this church!” Well, who’s to argue with him when it’s put that way? To call his judgment into question is equated to lack of faith, spiritual immaturity, or flat out rebellion against God. However, let the record show this type of reasoning isn’t the sign of his spiritual greatness but his weakness, manipulation, and cowardice.

Listen men, the local church can get another pastor, but your wife has only one husband, your kids only one father.  If you’re going to cheat on someone, cheat on the idea that you have to be doing ministry/church 24/7. You don’t. Cheat on “the ministry” so you won’t cheat on your family. Make your home a priority in your schedule. Continue to date your wife. Make memories with your kids. Don’t play quality time over quantity time. Do both well. Lead your family at home so they won’t resent ministry but see it all as a blessing from God. It bears repeating. Lead your little church (family) in order to better lead your big church.

If your spouse ever says, “How come the church gets the best of you – your energy, your creativity, and your attention – but at home we get the crumbs?” You might want to consider cheating on the ministry so you can give your family what they deserve. I should know. This is what my wife said to me. And she was right. I was cheating on the wrong group.

I’ll give you one more reason not to cheat on your spouse with the church. The church is already Someone else’s Bride. That seat is filled by the Lord Christ himself (cf., Rev. 19:7-10, 2 Cor. 11:2). You play your role as pastor not Savior. Remember, your legacy as a pastor is just as defined by the family you love as the church you lead.

Brave pastors invest in their family.