I met Marie Huitt Foreman 81 years ago. I am the fourth of four daughters born to her before she was 23, ridiculous! To say she was poor is an understatement. She left school after 8th grade, married at 17, and there was those 4 girls!
My dad died when I was 15 years old. Mom had just recently learned to drive and had no real skills. She became a widow at 39 with 2 children still in high school. We lived away from Little Rock but when my dad died, we returned where my mom’s family lived—she took whatever work she could get.
In 1960 Mom and I found and joined Second Baptist. She soon went to work in the Second Baptist daycare (where my own children attended until they aged out). After a few years there, she became the church receptionist in the main office. She also became church hostess and oversaw the kitchen staff (back when we cooked Wednesday night meals), weddings, and other receptions. I can’t remember how long she worked in the church office, but some time later Dr. Cowling confronted her with moving to the Albert Pike Hotel as manager, of all things. She soundly rejected that idea and said she would not do it. His response was that she would and would also thank him one day. She did. She had met her moment. She was meant for this job. She loved and was loved by the residents. She became an expert on Social Security and Medicare. When her daughters began to seriously age she could give us good advice. In 1984 when Billy White was to become our Pastor she decided to retire at 67, because “she was not breaking in another Pastor.”
Soon after retiring she became a “fill in” switchboard operator at Maybelline Co. leaving at age 80 because “she was not learning to operate a new switchboard.”
I am so glad our church values any woman in any kind of ministry.