RT and Emelyn must have been attractive socialites to have received the attention of a local newspaper writer who obviously found them and their relationship interesting enough to write about. They might have been considered flamboyant lovers, but lust would probably best describe their attraction to each other. From all indications, Emelyn had a fiery personality and RT had had enough, when he threw a verbal dart at Emelyn, walked out of their relationship then joined the army.
After serving in the army, RT left Atlanta and moved to New Orleans where his apparent charm, good looks, and personality bid him well. He seemed to have success, promoting gambling, and gambling himself. There was nothing to substantiate the reason he moved from place to place but that he was a successful gambler. Based on what little we know about him, it does seem likely his apparent success at cards, and the jealously he must have provoked from other men, and his ability to charm the women, created resentment towards him wherever he went.
What we do know was that while he was in Nashville, TN., there was a revival being held at the Ryman Auditorium which, of course, is known as the home of the Grand Ole Opry. It certainly had to have been a shock to those who knew him when RT attended the revival service, he also accepted and dedicated his life to Jesus Christ as his personal savior.
Upon giving his life to the Lord, RT enrolled in Divinity School. After graduation he became a minister serving the Methodist Church in Western Kentucky.
When a young woman in his congregation ran away to St. Louis, RT went after her. He found her working as a “lady of the evening” which we use the term loosely here. When RT found her, he was in for a double shock, the madam of the house of ill repute, where she was employed, was none other than RT’s former flame from Atlanta, Emelyn!
We can only imagine the fight that must have occurred when Emelyn let it be known she was not about to let the young woman go. She was a favorite with the clients, and a great source of income for Emelyn. When RT challenged Emelyn to a card game for the release of the young woman, Emelyn could not resist the temptation and took him up on the offer.
RT had given up gambling after his conversion to Christ, but he must have felt the Lord would understand this was for a good cause, and not personal gain. We certainly aren’t suggesting the Lord helped RT in the game, but the fact is that he held an ever so rare hand, called a royal flush, which came at the right time. He won the release of the young woman who was returned to her family and a renewed life. If this wasn’t blessing enough, RT led Emelyn to the Lord.
We referred to him as RT in our story but to his family and friends, and all who knew him, he was known as Rhett Turnipseed. Emelyn was known as Emelyn Hannon. Rhett and Emelyn were the inspiration for the newspaper writer from Atlanta, who was interested in RT’s story, named Margrett Mitchell. She wrote a book and movie about them, which took the world by storm – “Gone With The Wind.”
After giving her life to Christ, Emelyn went on to open an orphanage for children in the Cherokee Nation Reservation in Oklahoma. Rhett spent the rest of his life preaching the gospel.
If they could both be heard today, I am sure they would ask all who would listen to seek the Lord Jesus Christ as personal Savior. They would tell that one be assured of eternity in heaven, before the opportunity is Gone With The Wind. Don’t let the opportunity pass and become eternally separated from the love of Christ. Hell is total isolation and darkness for all eternity. Life with Christ is forever in a glorious home in heaven. Jesus said in 1 Corinthians 2:9, “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God had prepared for them that love him.”
John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world He gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.”
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