4. Joyce Holland, My First Personal Assistant
It was December 1986. I was 22 years old when I met her. She was 47. I had just been hired as one of the assistant pastors to Malone Cochran at Mt. Zion Church in Jonesboro, GA. In my new large church setting, I felt a bit overwhelmed with the entire experience. Joyce became my personal guide to help me succeed in my new role; and she became a mom, to Lisa and me, away from home. A year and a half later I was called to be the Lead Pastor of that church, and my first major, and most important, decision was to take Joyce with me into that new role.
In that first year and a half together she had proven her loyalty and commitment to help me succeed. Her administrative/organizational skills were amazing: short-hand, “multi-tasking”, proactive thinking, professional, language skills, people skills, etc. She was using the first computer I ever saw. She could type faster than I could speak, and she typed all of my paper work and research for my Bachelor and Master’s Degrees! However, it was her commitment to my success that was most inspiring. Joyce believed I would be a great pastor/leader someday, and she said so often. She challenged me to write, learn, and grow.
She reminded me often that God’s hand of blessing and anointing was on my life in a unique way. She talked to me honestly about protecting my life and witness as a young leader; especially regarding meetings and relationships with the opposite sex. She watched over me like a mother hen to make sure I didn’t sabotage my future success. She provided me with her years of wisdom. I became responsible to lead almost 100 employees in the church and private school, and Joyce walked with me through every step of the journey! She dotted my “i’s” and crossed my “t’s”! She turned 75 years old last week. She now lives on her family farm in Thomaston, GA with her husband, Charles; but we still talk by phone and are friends on Facebook. It’s always special to hear her voice! We had lunch together last week!
She believed in me and spoke openly about my future success.
She served me with diligence and loyalty.
She taught me much about church-life and people.
She gave me confidence in my role as a leader.
She helped me succeed!
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