This post is part of a series celebrating our pastors’ wives — godly women who play the role of shepherdesses in our lives, taking care of our shepherds and becoming like second mothers to so many of us. Today we’re talking to Sis. Susan Stephens, bishop’s wife at Austin First Church in Austin, TX.
Thank you for taking the time to talk with us today, Sis. Stephens! Where are you a bishop’s wife, and how long have you been there?
My husband and I began pastoring in Austin, Texas, in August of 2000. In May of this year, we retired and became bishop of Austin First Church! We had pastored 24 years prior in the rural community of Rosevine, Texas, in East Texas.
What are some things you love about being a bishop’s/pastor’s wife?
There are so many things I loved about being a pastor’s wife, and the first one is that I wasn’t the pastor!! To be more serious though, I loved building relationships with the people in our church; it takes years for them to really learn to love and trust you with their spiritual lives and to feel that you are helping them in the day-to-day and year-to-year growth is very rewarding. I have always tried to make each one feel that they are special and loved.
Growing up, what did you imagine yourself doing with your life? Would you ever have imagined yourself being a pastor’s wife?
I received the Holy Ghost when I was 14 years old in Houston, Texas, in Rev. James Kilgore’s church. At about the age of 16, I had a definite feeling that I was going to be a minister’s wife, even though I was not raised in a pastor’s home.
What are some nuggets of wisdom you’d love to share with Apostolic young women?
Some things I would tell the young ladies today are to value themselves and to guard themselves from peer pressure that can even come in the church. If you feel a call on your life, it will be worth so much in your future of being in the ministry. Pray earnestly before dating or marrying your future spouse; it will be one of the most important decisions you make in your life.
Are there any successes, struggles, or defeats you’ve faced as a pastor’s wife that you feel our readers could learn from?
Looking back on nearly 50 years of pastoring, I can say I have made many mistakes and blunders. It took me a long time to learn to delegate to the ladies in the church and let them grow and learn. I thought I had to do it all and if they wanted to help then they could find a way, but I hated to ask for help. This was very hard for me, to let go of the control of events at the church. After I did, it was the best thing that I had ever done! It lifted such a load off of me. I would tell all young pastors’ wives to start out delegating and don’t try to do it all yourself.
Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us today! Before we go, a few fun questions: If you had a day free where you could do anything you wanted, what would that be?
When I get a free day to do what I want, my favorite thing is to go “junk-tiquing!” I love scouring the resale shops and consignment shops in our area! I have found some amazing finds, and it’s so fun!
Last but not least, tell us a few of your favorite things!
My favorite drink is coffee! I love all the different flavors! I love my coffee in the early hours of the morning. I have always been a very early riser. I have the house to myself, and that’s my time with Jesus and His Word. I love to work in my yard, planting and taking care of my landscape. It’s very good exercise and good for the soul. I love to decorate my home, and I love to cook when I am home! l love spending time and spoiling my grandkids! They make my life so much fun!