As I grew up and matured in my faith, I often wondered what my spiritual gifts were. Reading 1 Corinthians 12:4 helped me realize that God’s plans for me were even better suited than I could have imagined. I was able to find my gift and place in ministry after working at a camp one summer during college. I became interested in learning Sign Language after serving Deaf campers.
After I moved to Tuscaloosa in 1976 to teach at Partlow and attend grad school at UA, I began attending Calvary. I met Naomi Scott, the leader of the Deaf Ministry, who became my mentor and role model for learning Sign Language. But more than this, she demonstrated what it truly means to have a servant heart. She showed me that my role in the Deaf Ministry could and should extend beyond interpreting a service. I have had the blessing of making many friends through the years and being there for the highs and lows of life. My greatest experiences have included interpreting salvation stories and baptisms.
Over the past 43 years as my husband Eddie and I have moved around, I was able to take this knowledge and experience to three different churches. Following Mrs. Scott’s example, I started Deaf ministries at First Baptist Pell City and Brent Baptist Church. Even as my family moved to different places, the story was always the same… God provided opportunities for me to meet unmet needs of the Deaf in those communities.
I am so thankful Calvary was not only the first chapter of my story in finding my spiritual gift of service to the Deaf Community, but has been the place I returned to serve for the last 14 years. We continue to offer Sign Language classes so we can develop and send others to serve future generations. I am so thankful for servants like Naomi Scott who demonstrated what it truly means to make disciples.