A Call for Becky
Where is the best venue for meditating? In a world lost in the super-technology of iPhones, iPads and emails flying everywhere, there must be peace on Earth somewhere. Some people even answer a phone call with an email! EEK! Quiet time, please!
After a successful and busy accounting career, South Carolina native, Becky Albright found that gardening offered a soothing respite and inspired her thought process. Her career, to that point, was not the one she had originally envisioned for herself. "Since the third grade, I planned to be a piano teacher," Becky smiled. "I always loved the piano, and still play." Yet well into her music major at Winthrop College, spending every Sunday practicing after classes all week, she surmised, "Probably will not make a decent living teaching little fingers how to play!" After much reflection, she changed her major to Business/Statistics and pursued this avenue after graduation.
Several trips to visit friends on Hilton Head eventually led to her relocation in 1983. Then, with a few years of business experience under her belt, Becky took the plunge and launched her own accounting firm. "Yes," she responded to my question, "it was a bit scary, but the worst-case scenario was if it did not fly, I'd go back to working in a company as before." Her "worst-case" never materialized, and over 23 years, Becky's firm thrived. Meanwhile, she met Bob Albright, and in 1986 they married at Hilton Head's First Presbyterian Church. "Both of us had always been solid church goers, and we continued to worship there. We enjoyed travel and spent time in Europe and Asia. Our most inspirational trip, though, was to Thailand. The people are so friendly, and there is a calmness, gentleness and quietness I've never seen." Perhaps this was one of those subtle, sublime messages influencing Becky toward her future.
"In 2006 the opportunity arose to sell my business. It felt like it was the right time, so I let it go and took six months off to consider my next path. Becky said during her gardening times, she felt "God's calling, a strong nudging, to become a pastor. The Presbyterian School in Decatur, GA posed a commuting problem, and then I discovered Union Seminary in Charlotte, NC that offered weekend classes for working people. The more I looked into it, the more doors opened for me."
In September 2007 Becky took her first brave step on an entirely new, God-called path. With the encouragement of family and Rev. John Miller, she enrolled in Union Seminary, and drove to Charlotte every Friday, attended classes morning and afternoon, then returned home to Hilton Head on Saturday evening. "When I entered that first classroom of 24 strangers, I felt immediately at home," she reflected. "On the whole, the students were older, and many had children and were working." Becky was also working for a CPA firm during those years of study. It was quite a challenge, but Becky feels "the motivation to spread God's word was a dominant factor in stabilizing and leading me through the long five years and three months to graduation in April 2013. Part of the program is two terms of non-parish internship, and two terms in a parish, which I spent at First Presbyterian Church of Beaufort with Rev. Patrick Perryman."
God opened another unexpected door for Becky in the form of a surprise resignation of the church's associate pastor. "Rev. Perryman called me in to talk, and then recommended me for the position. After the normal process, the 580 member congregation took the recommendation and my mission began." As an associate pastor, who preaches once a month now, Becky admits, "I was not comfortable with public speaking, and struggled with it." How did she overcome it? "I put my faith in God" she declared.
A traditionalist at heart, Becky believes anything that brings people to Christ should be undertaken. "We have to meet people where they are: in the streets, in shelters, at schools and take God's word to them. My role is to keep my eye on the ball, focus on God, lead the congregation accordingly and help others to follow Him." Pastoral care, discipleship and mission work are this persistent gal's objectives. She feels one of the Bible's most profound messages is found in Romans 8:28: "We know all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose."
Becky believes, and she marches confidently under the go light of progress, promising to leave giant footsteps in the sands of time.
Her first job: on Hilton Head was with Bob Albright...later to become her husband.
Important Goal: She has not yet been on Mission trips, and strongly desires to do so in the future.
Book Worm: I'm reading Shattered Silence by Melissa G. Moore. It's a book written by the daughter of a serial killer, from her point of view. I am also reading a theological book called Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard.
Becky feels it is imperative: that children are given roots by taking them to Sunday School and reading them the Bible to help them learn and become steadfast in their faith.