Norway resident shares ‘success story’ of blended families

Merging two families into one often can be challenging, but in her new book, “A Legacy of Faith,” Annette Sutcliffe, the South Carolina Mother of the Year in 2010, shares how she and her second husband, Linnie, succeeded with God’s help.

After her first husband was killed in a car accident at age 32, she was left to raise two boys and a girl. Four years later, she would meet and marry a Christian man who was a Sunday school teacher and leader in his church. Divorced, he was raising five children. Together, she and Linnie would strive to make a blended family of eight children (ranging in ages from 9 to 18) work.

Now with more than 45 years of experience, Sutcliffe has a special heart for younger married couples, especially those blending families. “This book is the story of our family and how we made it work, with God as the center of our home and our marriage,” she explains.

“Linnie and I had the odds stacked against us when we married in 1973. He had five children, and I had three. All of our families said it probably wouldn’t work,” the Norway resident confides in her book. “But with our faith in Christ, constant prayer, and our determination to prove everyone wrong, we made it work. Linnie and I promised each other that we would both treat all of the kids as our own and never show partiality.”

Throughout “A Legacy of Faith,” Annette and Linnie, who are both now in their 80s and members of St. George Baptist Church outside of Orangeburg, open up their home and lives to readers in the hopes of building stronger families. “The Holy Spirit was, and still is, the foundation of all we’ve accomplished in our family. He ‘held us together’ during the hard times,” she writes.

“There were many joyous days, but also difficult moments in our family,” she adds. “Without Christ as our leader, I don’t think we would have made it.”

Published by Westbow Press, “A Legacy of Faith” is available by contacting Sutcliffe via email at