Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Steve and Sandra Jolly met through a wedding, not at one.  The bride's father was a manager from Sandra's department at IBM and he decided, after spending time with Steve (who presided) throughout the wedding preparations and proceedings, that he'd found a man Sandra would like.  Friends had been trying for quite some time to find Steve the new perfect match and given him many story worthy dating experiences in the process.  Steve and Sandra's first date was at Olive Garden and about eight months later they decided to join their families.  Bringing together a teenage daughter, twin seven-year-old girls and a ten-year-old boy was a grand adventure, but those days are far behind them as they are now the proud grandparents of five with one on the way.
As a teenager, Steve had aspirations of taking over for Walter Cronkite and at sixteen visited the local radio station, WOHS FM to investigate the radio business.  Within a week, he had his own, Monday/Wednesday/Friday time slot.  Steve loved working in radio and thought it would be his career, until the age of nineteen when it began to lose its shine.  He remembers having a yelling match with God along the lines of "Well, what do I do now?" At this point he was feeling a nudge toward the ministry and told God he would give it one summer.  Steve served as a youth worker in a small church and had a blast those three months.  It was such an inspiring experience that he recognized this was God's purpose for him.  Steve pursued the ministry but with the personal caveat that he would only ever work with youth.  After 29 years as a youth leader/associate pastor, Steve finally decided to branch out and became the senior pastor for Freemason Street Baptist Church in Norfolk, Virginia where he served for twelve years.
We are ever thankful that Steve made that leap, one that would eventually lead him to First Austin as our interim pastor.  A position he holds with grace and humor.  Everyone is enjoying getting to know him and Sandra and especially showing them around Austin.  It will be sad when they leave but that time will signal a new chapter in the life of First Austin, one of hope, faith and the promise of a bright future for our beloved church.  Thank you Steve and Sandra for sharing this journey with us.


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