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May 29th, 2011

It was early 2001.  We needed a special person as our Office Manager, to give the office some stability after some difficult months.  We needed someone who could cheerfully keep plates spinning on dozens of poles, multi-tasking and delegating as needed.  We needed someone with a love for serving the Lord, helping church members and staff, and reaching out to the community with Christ’s love.

We needed Barbara Roithner, and the Lord sent her right on time.  The years prior and ahead would be an era of transition.  We had hired a number of new staff members, and their offices were spread all over the building.  Technology was changing rapidly.  The congregation was growing.

Over the past few weeks, I have asked church staff members and lay leaders to write their reflections on what Barbara has meant to Corinth.  You may read their thoughts below.

As you read, you’ll notice a theme.  Every person who comes in contact with Barbara has the sense that at that moment, their concern has top priority.  She can shift gears quickly and effortlessly.  She loves kids and relates well to seniors.  Strangers seeking help from our Good Samaritan Fund are treated with respect and kindness.  Members who need to know where to turn find Barbara very knowledgeable.  Staff members who depend on her know that she never seems to tire of helping us with the same problems.  She’ll leave her home in Bethlehem to come solve a problem.  When she’s here on Sundays, she gladly troubleshoots as if she were on the clock.

Bill Howell wrote, “If we could clone Barbara we could make a fortune.”  Gwyn Watson called Barbara “the Mary Poppins of Office Managers.”  Lauren Everley said, “When Barbara’s not around, I feel myself start to panic.”  Linda Thompson said Barbara is “not only a trusted co-worker, but one of my very dear friends.”  Paul Schowalter wrote, “Barbara is at her best when I’m at my worst.”

After eighteen years at Corinth, I am able to look back and see some pivotal moments when God provided just the right person (staff member, volunteer, or layperson) at the right time.  Barbara is one of those.  An Office Manager can make all the difference in the world for an office being efficient yet cheerful.  She’s a gift to all of us.  I hope next time you call or come by the office (or the nursery!) you’ll tell Barbara thanks for ten years of serving the Lord and all of us.

Bob Thompson, Pastor

 

Abigail Hardy:  I know Barbara in two different capacities.  She has taken care of our three boys for the past two years in the 8:30 nursery and she has also been my Bible study leader this year.  Barbara is thoughtful and kind and her love for the Lord shines through in her sweet and sincere spirit.  I have appreciated getting to know about Barbara’s spiritual journey and her strong faith.  She is gentle woman of God and a wife and mother that I can admire and hope to emulate.  Thank you for all you do for the church as a whole and for me personally.

 

Alice Davidson:  We are very blessed to have Barbara as our office manager.  She is efficient and dedicated but also welcoming and caring.  She sets the tone for a wonderful atmosphere around her.  Thank you, Barbara! 

Angie Burnham:  You are so AMAZING and I am so THANKFUL for all you do for our Church Family.  Our Youth Group would be lost if not for YOU.  You do so MANY things to serve us.  You are our Partner in Ministry behind the scenes with everything we do for our students. You are Truly a Blessing to know, work with and as my friend.  Thank You for Serving the Lord for 10 years at Corinth Reformed Church.  We are so Blessed!!!    

Beth Hyman:  Barbara has been a inspiration to me. She has been a leader in my small group bible studies and I have had the the opportunity to work side by side with her through the years. She will even go out of her way to get what you need from the church. She will drive all the way in from Bethlehem to open the church office for you and notarize a paper. She is a great mother and a terrific wife. I feel blessed to know her and she has become a dear friend to me.

Betty McGee:  What can be said about how much Barbara means to all of us!   She is like a beautiful wildflower that keeps blooming, in the midst of an environment that may change from chaos to calmness within a moment. 

Bill Howell:  Barbara’s attitude and abilities have always been above and beyond what one would expect. I have a great respect for her professionalism and the capable way in which she handles multiple tasks with great efficiency. If we could clone her we could make a fortune providing Barbara Office Managers to other work sites. Of course everyone would have to listen to them all talk to themselves as they work! God’s blessings Barbara and hope to have you around for many more anniversaries.

Charissa Loftin:  I can get it down to one word…….BLESSING!

Chris Winkler:  Barbara is truly an asset to Corinth.  Never more so than the grace, patience, and time she showed recently to someone in need.  I witnessed this first hand and the care and professionalism she gave was a testament to her impact on so many as a servant leader.

Clarissa Starnes:  I ran into a man one day at Java Journey and as we were talking about churches, he asked me if the black-haired lady still worked in the office at Corinth. I said yes, that’s Barbara. And he told me how at one point, he had to come in to get financial help. He said that as a black man, he found it hard to contain his dignity as he sought help, but that Barbara was the first and only person he had ever encountered that made him feel like a man despite his circumstances. He said he left Corinth with his head held high and knew that she was a special woman. I certainly agree.

Danielle Cummings:  Barbara is the master of “multi-tasking”!  It amazes me how she keeps up with everything & everyone and always has a smile on her face.  We are so blessed to have her… she shines bright for the Lord!

 

Fonda Brittain:  It is easy for me to express my thoughts about Barbara.  To me, she epitomizes what a secretary should be. Barbara is always efficient, helpful, respectful, friendly, goes the extra mile, composed, attractive, genuine, honest, and pleasant.  She never seems to get flustered.  I love the work she does for our Lord, our church and our members.  Many thanks to Barbara for 10 years of selfless service. Thanks for being part of our “Dream Team.” You are an asset to our church.

 

Gwyn Watson:  Barbara – the Mary Poppins of Office Managers!  Thanks so much for being our office manager.  Your upbeat attitude, prompt attention to our needs (even the petty and repetitive), and gracious reception to all who enter our front door make you a joy to work with!! Many Thanks.

Holly Bolick:  Anyone who talks with Barbara can hear her love of God and the church through her voice and conversation.  But anyone who has ever had a request for using Corinth’s facilities can witness her love for our church!  She is Corinth’s gatekeeper–the one who keeps our church running like clock-work!

Jan Caldwell:  I have so enjoyed working with Barb.  She is always willing to help anyway possible.

Jan Ketcham:  Barbara has such a sincere heart and dedication for Corinth!  She is a great office manager and is always willing to give a helping hand.  I have learned so much from her and feel blessed to be a part of the Corinth Staff! 

Laura Owens:  What does one say about Barbara?  I’ve known Barbara since she first came to Corinth.  She is so dedicated to her job and ministry!  Her patience is unending- whether I’ve just messed up the copier, she isn’t feeling well, she’s suffered a loss in her family, or I ask her a question and she acts as though she has nothing else to do but answer me. Barbara is a joy to have as a fellow staff member.  She is the sparkplug that keeps all the rest of us going!  What a delightful “manager” to us all! 

Lauren Everley:  When Barbara is not around, I can sometimes feel myself start to panic if I can’t consult with her! She is so valuable and keeps everything running so smoothly. We are all so blessed to work with her and I don’t know how-but she manages to keep us all in line! Love her!

Linda Thompson:  Barbara runs our office with great organizational skill as well as with a godly, servant heart.  She considers her work a ministry given to her by the Lord.  Whenever we have a problem with our computers, the copier or need help with a myriad of supplies or issues, we run to Barbara who puts aside her work and tackles our problem cheerfully.  She handles so many situations and people with grace.  As one of our small group leaders in our Wednesday evening Bible study, Barbara leads her group with grace and wisdom.   I am so blessed by Barbara’s life.  She is not only a trusted co-worker, but also one of my very dear friends.

Lorrie Eaton:  I have had the opportunity to work with Barbara while I have been treasurer of Corinth the last few years.  I am sure I still only see a small part of the work Barbara performs for Corinth.  Barbara is one of those people who do so much so well that you don’t even notice how important her role is until she is away for a few days and those things go undone.  She is a major part of the machine  that makes  the ministry of Corinth  happen.  Barbara shares many traits with the best of office managers, including the ability to give an honest assessment of the deadlines needed to make a project successful.  As an accountant, I understand the importance of an efficiently run office for any organization, and Barbara makes that happen at Corinth.

Melissa Shuford:  I wanted to say that I greatly treasure Barbara’s presence in my life.  She has been a constant source of spiritual encouragement and a wonderful friend!

Paul Schowalter:  Barbara is at her best, when I am at my worst!

·        She helps me with my copying when I can’t run the machine!

·        She collates, sorts, and staples…a machine can do that?!

·        She finds my missing SS books that I have misplaced!

·        She helps me expedite SS book orders when I have waited too long!

·        She reminds me about board meetings when I have a ‘Senior Memory Moment’!

·        She helps me submit and distribute ‘board’ & ‘team’ minutes when I am playing catch-up!

·        She always has the appropriate key for that door I need to open!

·        She knows the magic hiding place for SS or Board supplies, flip charts, video equipment, etc.!

·        Oh, did I mention that she is doing her regular job around all my troubles and shenanigans?

Sharon Rowe:  Barbara is wonderful to work with at Corinth and a great friend. She always has time to help others with anything they need in the office and she always has a smile to go along with the help needed. She keeps the office running smoothly . I expect her to have all of the answers in our office!!! She is patient and helps me over and over with projects. She never says, “I have shown you how to do that at least ten times.”  She has a sweet spirit, kind heart and I consider her a special friend.

Shirley Huffman:  Wow! Barbara has been amazing to work with. I have had to schedule (and sometimes unschedule) the Althouse room many times. Barbara always exhibits a helpful attitude. She goes above and beyond in many ways. When I am rushed or asking for special consideration, instead of showing frustration, she accommodates. I can usually see she is multi-tasking, but never seems impatient. She is one that can be counted on. She is efficient with her directions and checks to be sure I remember what I am supposed to be doing. I appreciate that. I love her.

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