About the Developer

Mary Lou

Mary Lou Anne was born to Christian parents, George and Abi (Burton) Miller, October 18, 1925, in Muskogee, Oklahoma.

She earned degrees from Colorado Women’s College, The University of Oklahoma, a Masters Degree from Columbia University and a PhD. from Pennsylvania State University.  She taught all grades from Kindergarten through graduate courses, including four years at The University of Florida and three years at Penn State University.

Mary Lou was a devoted mother and grandmother.  Late in life, she married her college sweetheart, Doug Knowles.  Along with her beautiful faith she had a good sense of humor.   Her family teased her about having so many names… Mary Lou Anne Miller Farris Knowles.   Often she was Dr. Farris or Dr. Knowles but always Mary Lou!

Mary Lou loved God and she loved the Bible.  Her chief desire, through speaking, writing and research was to promote the reading of the Bible.  She was born to teach and always told her classes that the ‘best’ Bible teacher is the Holy Spirit, so before you study – pray! Wherever she lived and whatever she was doing, teaching the Bible was a priority, an enjoyable and rewarding part of her life. She saw the Bible, as a drama that we should learn from and live by, as to how God deals with groups of people and individuals.

The first and still most popular product, The ADAM AND EVE FAMILY TREE – The Genealogy of Jesus Christ Chart, grew out of her teaching a Sunday school class of mostly young grandmothers at the First Baptist Church, in Oklahoma City.   Mary Lou showed the class, (with pieces that would become the chart) that when you know the characters in the story, you can better understand and follow the action from creation to redemption!  For the first time, these ladies told her, that they understood the Old Testament and that seeing the family relationships made it come alive.  These ladies were so encouraging and told her that she should do this for all Bible readers.

So after an incredible amount of working, studying, researching, and learning and then planning the layout, arranging the families and tribes the chart was completed.  In 1975, Mary Lou founded Good Things Company. Twice she was a guest on the 700 Club, The Associated Press ran a great, in-depth article, which was printed around the country and that was followed by lots more publicity and orders.

Read more of her remarkable story and the beginning of Good Things Company, in the two Guideposts Magazine Articles.