We had the honor to celebrate our longtime Finance Director, Teresa Willis, last month as she retired after more than 31 years of The HOPE Center! As we reflect on all she’s done (and continues to do) for this ministry, we couldn’t miss the opportunity to highlight her. Scroll down to learn more about Teresa.
Name: Teresa Willis
Title: Former Finance Director
When did you start at The HOPE Center? I interviewed in January 1991 to be a volunteer advocate and started soon after.
How did you initially get connected with The HOPE Center? I came to The HOPE Center to get information for a Moral Concerns committee at my church. Deborah Durham, the Executive Director at the time, talked me into coming to the next advocate training. I knew then that The HOPE Center was exactly what I thought a Crisis Pregnancy Center should be and I wanted to be involved.
How have you seen God work through this ministry? One of the biggest places I have seen God work through this ministry is in the impact it has made on my own life. The HOPE Center is where I first had the opportunity to share my faith with others and to love people as Jesus did. I learned not to judge others, to have true mercy and compassion, and to believe God had a good plan for their life. I learned I could do difficult things like speaking in front of people, praying with people on the phone and even asking people to sponsor me in the Walk for Life. I learned how to depend on the Holy Spirit for guidance and wisdom. I love seeing this same growth in the lives of others who have served at The HOPE Center, as well.
Favorite memory with The HOPE Center? I have many great memories both with staff and with clients, but probably my favorite is the way The HOPE Center ministered to our family when our daughter was pregnant with our first grandchild. I had worked at The HOPE Center for years, but you get to see a different side when you are the client. The HOPE Center was such an important part of helping us not just get through the difficult season, but helping us thrive in the love of Christ. Our granddaughter is now 11 and such a joy to all who know her.
Favorite bible verse? “Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.” Psalm 143:8
Fun fact about you? I love outdoor activities like hiking, biking, and kayaking (not on fast moving rivers though!). I especially love going to National Parks and seeing the amazing world God created.
Favorite color? Blue
Favorite food? Pizza
You have your own late-night talk show, who do you invite as your first guest? I think I would ask Annie F. Downs for a recommendation, because I love her interviews and guests on “That Sounds Fun” podcast.
You have to sing karaoke, what song do you pick? Our family does Karaoke every year for New Year’s Eve and I always pick “Like I’m Gonna Lose You” by Meghan Trainor. I love the lyrics to this song.
If you had to eat one meal every day for the rest of your life what would it be? A salad in a jar – what I have eaten almost every work day for the last 5 years. It’s the practical choice – you have your protein and your vegetables and I always include cut up apple.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? A teacher. I always thought I would love to grade papers.