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The Life and Times of Curt Iles

Part of our application process to serve with the International Mission Board

was writing a 6-10 page “autobiography.”

This lone longleaf pine is symbolic of my family’s deep roots in western Louisiana.

My wife DeDe looked at this requirement and shook her head.  “There’s no way I can write six pages about myself.”

Curious Curt had a different reaction.  “How can I limit it to ten pages?”

That’s why we make such a good couple.

After finishing this project, I shared it with my three sons.  I wanted them to read about the dips, peaks, and times of my life. I was touched by how it touched them.

After much prayer, I’ve decided to share it on my website.  I do this with trepidation.  It’s not really about me.  It’s about the faithfulness of God through thick and thin.

It is a timeline of how God takes it all: our failures, successes, valleys, mountaintops, and brings out good.

May it reflect the place of God’s grace in my life.

I’ll be sharing it in sections on this blog. Enjoy!

Curt Iles

The Life and Times of Curt Iles

I was born on June 1, 1956 in DeRidder, Louisiana, the first child of Clayton and Mary Plott Iles.  I was also the oldest grandchild on both sides of my family and this led to being raised in an environment of great love and attention.

I’ve always been intrigued with my parent’s diverse background.  Mom was from a family of primarily German heritage with roots in the Midwest.  My grandfather worked for the railroad and moved constantly so my mother grew up in many places. When her dad was stationed in the SW Louisiana town of DeRidder after World War II, she met my father in high school.

Dad’s family had deep roots in this piney woods section of Louisiana with our first Iles ancestors arriving shortly after statehood in 1819.  Most of my paternal branches have been in what was called “No Man’s Land” since the 19th century. I grew up surrounded by great grandparents, grandparents, uncles and aunts.  Several generations often lived in the same home.  This background gave me a deep sense of belonging and connection to the people and land I still live on.

I like to describe it this way: One side of my family gave me roots. The other side gave me wings.

My paternal and maternal sides both had strong Christian heritages in Southern Baptist Churches.  My parents brought us up (I have two younger sisters) attending church. Best of all, mom and dad modeled Christian character in the home.  What they talked about at church, they lived at home.  This model of consistency means the world to me and led to my current personal life statement,  “I want to be a man God can use and be respected by my wife, sons, and their families.”

To be continued.

 

About Curt Iles

I write to have influence and impact through well-told stories of my Louisiana and African sojourn.

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