“Mary had a what?” you may be asking. This past Saturday evening, Oct. 2nd, we hosted a Story Slam in honor of Mary Heathman, WGA’s Founding Director. This is the 4th Story Slam we have had, this time with 6 storytellers sharing some of their memories of Mary from over the years. It was a fun time to gather together, especially since we hadn’t done so in this setting since October of 2019. Originally, we had planned to honor Mary for her 75th birthday in May of 2020. Since we were unable to do that then, we celebrated her 75 (+1) this year. Hopefully we will be able to host more of these Story Slam events soon.
Does God have favorites?
I shared a brief story about Mary and how it seems that God has chosen her as one of His favorites. Quite a few years ago, the staff was planning a trip to a conference in Asheville, North Carolina. Mary was planning to travel to Wichita to speak at a different conference the weekend before we all were to leave together. We had all the details worked out so that she would return to Denver just in time to catch our flight to our conference together. On the morning of her planned departure to Wichita, she discovered that the location of her speaking engagement had been relocated (quite some time before, but she missed that detail). Where was the new location? It was in Asheville! She was able to leave early from our originally planned trip with minimal hassle.
This all sounds wonderful, and it was for Mary. The rest of us, flying out on our original plan to Asheville got delayed by bad weather in Atlanta. This caused us to miss our connecting flight into Asheville, which meant we had to stay the night in the airport. A very-well rested Mary picked up a very grumpy and tired group of us from the airport when we finally arrived. Eventually we all were able to laugh about how God had taken such good care of Mary. What had we all done that caused Him to punish us with such a bad travel experience?
Check out what you missed…
If you would like to see some of the other stories shared about Mary from our event on Saturday, you can check out a video (in two parts) on the Where Grace Abounds Facebook page. You don’t had to be a member of Facebook to view them. Among the storytellers are Mary’s daughter Deb, a few people who have been part of WGA’s groups over the years (Andrew, Gloria, Shannon), a ministry friend (Jeff), and Mary’s long-time pastor Chuck. Check them out!
These events also serve as a fundraiser for Where Grace Abounds. God has been so faithful to provide during our 35 years of ministry. Especially over the past 2 years of pandemic and all the chaos that has followed, He has been faithful. If you would like to participate in financially supporting Where Grace Abounds, you can find out more about doing that here. Thank you!
Roger began working with WGA in October of 1996 as the Assistant office Manager. Since that time, he has worn many hats and served in several different positions, including Assistant Program Director and Operations Director. In April of 2007, Roger assumed the position of Executive Director.
Roger attended West Texas A&M University, where he studied Music Business. Much of his training has been “on the job,” where he was mentored by the ministry’s Founder, Mary Heathman, and the Program Director, Scott Kingry. He holds a BA from West Texas A&M University.
Roger, his wife Jill, and their daughter Julia and son William, attend Celebration Community Church where Jill serves as Senior Pastor.
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