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Teen's loved ones aid Jesus House

Slain teen's family and friends refurbish Jesus House prayer room as a way to pay tribute to the young woman's life and legacy.
by Carla Hinton Published: September 29, 2012

“Her mom said she talked about the people she came in contact with here quite often. I can identify with that. It was neat to hear that a young person had that kind of outlook for others.”

J.B. Henson, Braylee's stepfather, said it was only fitting that the Jesus House be a place where the teen's legacy will live on. Denny and the family agreed that the prayer room would be named the Braylee Rae Henry Memorial Prayer Room in the young woman's honor.

The group of about 25 of Braylee's family and friends transformed the smoke-damaged room into a light, airy, pleasantly decorated prayer haven. The project included a new couch, tables, chairs, window blinds, lamps, decorations, a rug, pictures and a large Bible with “The Jesus House” engraved on the cover.

Randy and Sherrie Smith helped hang window blinds, paint and performed other tasks during the Sept. 22 project to honor Braylee. Randy Smith said he was one of Braylee's teachers and student council advisers. He said his wife was Braylee's Sunday school teacher at Countryside Free Will Baptist Church.

Her fellow 4-H members, Jesse Anderson, 16, Meagan Bourne, 17, Bita Humphreys, 18, and Sidney Lewis, 17, also helped paint the room.

Anderson said she and Braylee were close friends and that is why she got a tattoo of one of Braylee's last Facebook postings — “Count your blessings” — on her shoulder, along with her buddy's initials.

“I think she'd be excited about this. She'd be painting,” Anderson said.

Bourne agreed.

“We would count down to the day that we would come here,” she said.

Graphic artist and Velma Police officer Debbie Richardson designed and painted colorful murals.

“Velma is a very tight-knit community,” she said. “There's not anywhere else I need to be today besides here.”

Renee Henson, a hint of sadness in her eyes, smiled as she looked at the group of volunteers busy about their tasks.

“Braylee would be so honored that we were out here today,” she said. “She made me promise that I would come out here so I could see for myself and I promised her I would.

by Carla Hinton
Religion Editor
Carla Hinton, an Oklahoma City native, joined The Oklahoman in 1986 as a National Society of Newspaper Editors minority intern. She began reporting full-time for The Oklahoman two years later and has served as a beat writer covering a wide...
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Braylee Ray


June 2012

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