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Finishing Strong: Saying "Thank You" to Theresa Bixby

06.25.21 | Pastor Article | by Ben Fetterolf

    For more than a decade, Hampton Park Baptist Church’s Women’s Ministries have been led by Theresa Bixby. On June 30, 2021, she will finish serving in this role (in an official capacity) and begin serving God and the church through her retirement years. Theresa and I (Ben) have met together most weeks over the past 2-3 years to share ministry needs and burdens. Throughout that time, I have come to appreciate her compassionate heart, unshaking conviction, and joyful spirit.

    As we say “thank you” to Theresa for her many years of faithful service here at HPBC, we thought it would be fun to ask her a few questions that would give us additional insight into the Women’s Ministry Director role and her heart as she served in it.

    How long have you been the Women's Ministry Director at HPBC?

    I love my church and count it a privilege to have served the ladies of HPBC for over 12 ½ years. I was doing my dream job and it gave me great joy.

    What most excited you about the role when you first started?

    I was completely surprised when I was asked to consider this job.  I already loved and respected the ladies of our church, but I was energized by the thought of getting to know more of them, learning their names and finding out their heart throbs and their needs.  I longed to encourage them to grow in their likeness to Christ, no matter where they were on their spiritual journey.

    What will you miss the most once you are not in this role anymore? 

    I will miss the contact with the staff members whom I have come to love and appreciate.  I will miss feeling “responsible” for the well-being of the HPBC ladies. 

    What was challenging about working in this role?

    I was the first one in this role.  While I had a job description, the nuts and bolts of the job were left up to me. I am not necessarily a person who thinks out of the box, but I do have a certain degree of creativity and God-given leadership skills.  I am thankful for the many friends who encouraged me, pushed me and prayed for me.  I am thankful for those who gave suggestions and were understanding when we could not do their project.  I am thankful for God’s wisdom and for the support of the pastors. 

    I wanted to make sure we were meeting the needs of our ladies and started a few new ministries.  Some worked and some did not.  The death of a dream is always disappointing. 

    What is one or two unexpected blessings of working in this role?

    I found so many ladies in our church who were serving God faithfully.  They didn’t need the lime light or organization.  They were using their time, skills, money and energy investing in the lives of others for God’s glory. 

    I have enjoyed and been blessed by the cross-generational look of many of our women’s ministries. 

    What are your plans once you retire? 

    We do not have any plans set in stone yet (Paul is retiring also).  Depending on the pandemic, we may be involved in a mission trip in the fall. We hope to see our kids more often.  Our list of things to do around the house and in the yard is extensive and has been neglected for way too long.

    Can we expect to still see you involved in ministry to women at HPBC?

    Of course! That is who I am!  God willing, we are not moving for a long time.  Paul and I will continue our involvement in the Spanish ministry.  I want to be faithful in attendance at the ladies’ events—Women for Missions, luncheons, retreats, etc.  At least for this fall, I will be teaching at Ladies’ Bible Study.  I have become a funeral meal team leader.  I have told Jennifer that I want to be her best cheerleader and supporter.  I want to help her when she needs me and step back and hide in the shadows when she needs me to do that.  I am delighted that God has called her to this position and I’m sure she will do a great job.

    Thank you, Theresa, for your faithfulness over the past 12 ½ years. We are thankful that you will still be around HPBC and look forward to continuing to serve alongside you.