- Debbie was underpaid and underappreciated at Dalewood - not least of which because she was a woman. I said it above and I mean it - the survival of my youth ministry in the dark days that followed our pastor's adulterous affair were directly affected by the high quality of work she did in creating a volunteer staff who loved Jesus & loved kids.
- Debbie was kind & thoughtful with me... taking time to meet with me and answer MOST of my questions when I came on staff at Dalewood. (She was careful not to poison the well with current staff members, even though she & I ended up having difficulty with the same person.) Instead of scaring me away from kids, she encouraged me to develop my own relationships with them - owning that someone else might be better at reaching them than her.
- Debbie & I saw each other off & on through our work at Lifeway for Youth Discipleship Training. (For the non-SBCer's in the audience, Lifeway is the publishing house affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention.) She was always gracious & funny.
- I also appreciated the ministry of encouragement she started, Anchor Deep Ministries. Her letters & prayers were always welcome.
- Finally, as I was writing this I realized that 2 of the 7 folks that helped start the church @ hickory hollow were "graduates" of her youth ministry - Michelle & Allen were & are credits to Debbie's willingness to live out Jesus.
I lost contact with Debbie when I started church planting... so it's probably been 10 years since we've talked. I do look forward to seeing her again, though - cuz our anchors are set against the same Rock.