Rev. Mary Council-Austin
Pastor Mary has been a blessing to our church. We had suffered a "split" of sorts with the previous pastor being asked to leave. What a horrible mess she came into. She has a hard job to do as a pastor and this just makes it that much more of an opportunity for God to work in her and in us. I would like to say that everything has been hunky dory now that we have a new pastor but it isn't.
Pastor Mary loves those who dislike her because she is an African American female in a church with no ethnic groups or 1 minority person in it. In a city where there are very few African Americans. On a daily basis she faces criticisms from all around. I believe that because of her background and her love for Jesus she is totally accepting of those who the church and society reject. But, she loves all people.
One thing you notice about Pastor Mary right away is her smile. Her smile is infectious. If you hang around her too long you will be bouncing off the walls with joy and optimism instead of your heavy heart. She reminds me of Jesus' joy.
On Sundays you will find Pastor Mary roaming the church in her robe and beautiful stolls. Many of which were given to her and are SO beautiful. This is new to our church. In 34 years that I know about our church
history no one has worn a robe. So, that has taken some getting used to. More importantly the reason she is roaming is so she can greet as many new people as possible and check on those who come regularly. Her sermons are about loving people God's way, right now. I am trying to learn that!!! Before Pastor Mary preaches she thanks each person who has a part in that Sunday's service. And those who are behind the scenes? She acknowledges them, too.
Our previous pastor established a committee to visit the sick, shut-ins and to make hospital visits. This helped him a lot but that way he made very few visits. We still have that committee, however, Mary is always at the bedside of a sick person in the hospital. She spends much time with those who have lost a loved one. The week before she officially was our pastor a business woman well known in the community died tragically in a fire. She met for hours with this family to get to know them and mostly to get to know this lady through them. Her sermon was exactly what this precious lady would have wanted. That is the heart of a pastor who is in love with Jesus.
Pastor Mary, if you read this, please know that many love you and mostly that GOD loves you and knows your joys and your tears. Weeping only lasts for a night but joy comes in the morning.