In collaboration with Dillon County Theatre Association in South Carolina, Liz Herlong's Broadcast Journalism student Haley Miller produced this story about the Renfrow Family. Now better known as Renfrow Nation, it all began in a small South Carolina town and started with two. Jimmy Renfrow recalls how he and his wife Florinette have raised generations of their family to now number almost 100 people. Lake View High School aired a different segment about the area each Wednesday morning on the Gator TV Morning News broadcast as part of a series called, "Way Back Wednesdays." It was created for Museum on Main Street's Stories: YES program.
Haley Miller: It started with two. Florinette, and Jimmy Renfrow married on February 8, 1953. In a 27 year span they had 11 children together. 66 years later, they have 48 grandchildren, and 35 great-grandchildren. They are better known these days as Renfrow nation. This was a phrase coined several years ago in support of a grandchild Hunter Renfrow as he began his football career as a wide receiver at Clemson University.
Haley Miller: [0:32] If you ask either of them, or their 11 children they will most certainly give credit to their family's unity in any success to their strong faith in Jesus Christ. The Renfrow family is known for their large numbers and have been extremely blessed to have produced several doctors, lawyers, engineers, teachers, preachers, nurses, coaches, and homemakers. An automobile mechanic and a town librarian encouraged their 11 children to recognize the importance of faith and family.
Haley Miller: [1:01] Raising their children in a small town, studying hard and participating in school and community sports. Found a place along the way in years to come, which would eventually enable multiple academic and athletic scholarships to assist their children in furthering their education.
Jimmy Renfrow: [1:18] I'm Jimmy Renfrow and my wife Florinette and myself have had a long happy marriage. We just celebrated our 66th wedding anniversary last week and well the lord has really blessed us in a lotta ways and we've been able to, we've got 11 children, 48 grandchildren, and 35 great-grandchildren.
Jimmy Renfrow: [1:42] And we were, the lord blessed us and left, we were fortunate enough to send our, all our children to school, to college. And most of them got financial aid and they got scholarships and different events and all. And but we feel that we've really been blessed over the years to. We've got a wonderful family and we're just, they all have done well in life so far and we are, we just feel that we've been really blessed with our family.
Haley Miller: [2:26] In 2002 Florinette Renfrow won Mother of the Year for the state of South Carolina. She was published in PeeDee magazine, and was invited to eat lunch with the governor, at the governor's mansion.
Jimmy Refrow: [2:38] My family got big, and we got spread out a little when they graduated from college they had to go elsewhere to get jobs. And, but now we've got an enormous family, and we love all of them and every year back as far back in maybe 1958 we started going to a week. Florinette's mom and daddy started out with taking us to Ocean Isle Beach one week every summer. Since then we've kept up that tradition and we've most of that time we've been going to Ocean Isle Beach. And renting houses for the 4th of July. And our family's been faithful to just keep it together for the week we have. Just to almost 100% of our family there every summer.
Jimmy Renfrow: [3:34] And we have a great week. We started off renting a house and now we rent 11 houses. And we have a great week and the cousins and all have such a wonderful time playing. I don't know how it would work if it was two weeks but. Anyway they, it's about the only time a year that we all our family gets together at the 4th of July. At the beach and then at Christmastime.
Jimmy Renfrow: [4:05] We think we've got a wonderful family, and we are as big as we are fairly close. We talk to each other every few days, and we have, the lord has blessed us in so many ways.
Haley Miller: [4:22] They won't tell you this. But the Renfrow family is an amazing group. They give all the credit of their succeed accomplishments to the glory of God. And to think, it all began in a small South Carolina town. And it started with two.
Asset ID: 8548
Themes: Crossroads, family, faith, traditions, July 4th, holidays
Date recorded: 2019
Length of recording: 4:46 m
Related traveling exhibition: Crossroads: Change in Rural America
Sponsor or affiliated organization: Dillon County Theatre Association, Dillon, South Carolina
More information: https://museumonmainstreet.org/blog-node/south-carolina-students-kickstart-conversation-around-change