Life of Giving: Interfaith Ministries Exec Retires
December 16, 2013 at 2:31 AM CST - Updated July 20 at 8:52 PM
After 32 years of serving others the Executive Director of Interfaith Ministries is saying goodbye.
Jean Payne was a young woman who moved to Texas for an adventure and quickly found her niche in Texoma.
So much so, when many hear about the non-profit the name Jean Payne is sure to follow.
"A lot of people identify it with Jean in this community. So I think it's going to be like the face of Interfaith is gone." said Patient Assistance Coordinator, Mercy Sears.
Payne has always had a heart for ministry. So when churches that first helped form a program called Interfaith Disaster Services, to help Wichitans get back on their feet from the deadly 1979 tornado, "Terrible Tuesday", wanted to make it a permanent fixture Jean wanted on board.
"They decided to shift the focus a little and help families facing individual disaster in their lives." said Payne.
She was one of two employees, but it seems there was another plan for her life when just 2 months in the Executive Director of the newly formed Interfaith Ministries moved on.
" I applied for it. I guess I had seniority because I was the only employee and so they hired me." said Payne."I really didn't have any experience or background I just knew I had a heart to help people."
Both have grown together the past 32 years.
"I like the fact that she is adamant about writing personal notes to people. I think that personal touch means a lot. I'll miss that." said Mercy Sears.
Sears said that personal touch, is also something that carried over into the non-profits success.
There's only 4 staff members, but there are nearly 100 volunteers that help on a regular bases.
And Payne is quick to point out, it takes each and every one.
"It's not Jean Payne's Interfaith Ministries. It's all of the volunteers and all of the staff that make this such a wonderful organization."
While Payne says she will miss the people, she has a lot do now that she is retiring.
Including some traveling with her husband, and finally tackling some projects. Payne also plans on doing some volunteering to see what it's like on the other side of the fence.
Her last day is the end of December, and Newschannel 6 wishes her the best.