Once upon a time in the Red River Valley of Southeastern Oklahoma, after a long hot day of labor both in the field and within her body, a mother, heavy with child, made her way home. The pain had continued to worsen and she knew time was nearing for the delivery of her seventh child. At sundown the baby boy came forth, was pronounced stillborn, laid aside and covered with a towel as the doctor turned to attempt to save the life of his mother.
Not willing to accept so easily the death of the small boy, a sweet Christian neighbor lady, Mrs. Tom Williams, took the young child and with prayer, begin to work with him, immersing him first in cold water for shock and then blowing her breath into his mouth and again immersing him in cold water. Within a few minutes, the child began to whimper, cough and then cry. HE LIVED!
He was given the name Johnny Clifton Flanagan. The date was July 10, 1935. His parents were Alfred Clifton Flanagan and wife, Stella May Keith Flanagan. Johnny grew up, the baby of the family with five brothers and one sister, contented with his home life and a little spoiled, but with a sensitive ear to spiritual things.
Nelda Brooks was born in Slaton, Texas. She graduated high school there in Slaton and then attended Draughons Business College, graduating with a degree in Business Administration and Accounting along with Certification from The Nancy Taylor Course in Beauty and Modeling.
After graduation she worked as Receptionist and then Secretary to the Manager of Draughons Business College. Her next step was as a secretary in The Small Business Administration in Lubbock, Texas, and from there into the law offices of George S. Lemon, Jr., Gerdeman & Smith and Harvey L. Morton, all in Slaton.
During this time she met and married Johnny Flanagan. In 1965 she was Born Again at Twenty-Fifth Street Baptist Church in Lubbock, TX, after being a lost church member for ten years.
Johnny & Nelda began singing together in church, local rest homes, Chamber of Commerce meetings and many area Hootenannies, which were local, family entertainment.
Joel Cody Flanagan was born to Johnny & Nelda August, 1971, in Slaton, Lubbock County, TX. He graduated Highschool as Valedictorian from Central Christian Academy in 1989. At that time he joined the Marine Corps and later transferred to the US Army. He married Kimberly Henderson in 1975 and to them four children have been born: Johnathan Cole, MiKala Dawn, Caden Sean and Maycee Brooke. They are presently residing in Watertown, NY.