I would like to think it was easy to be married to me for 21 years but my wife’s commitment to be with me drew her into a life of many challenges. Don’t misunderstand, we’ve been blessed in many ways and we’ve had many good years together. Yet the life of a Pastor (or being married to him) is not easy. Shortly into married life, as I was still training for ministry, I became a co-pastor and we enjoyed a brief time in ministry. Then the opportunity came to transition to senior pastor in May 1999. We are still here and Mars Hill has grown exponentially.
June 27, 1992
Reflecting on those years, my deepest gratitude is offered to my wife, Shauntai Stowers. She was always so willing and flexible during the many ups and downs of ministry. She made many sacrifices that people never knew about. For example, setting aside a promising legal career and deciding to be a stay at home mom. For much of that time she had to get three energetic children ready for Church, keep the house clean and prepare a Sunday meal for the family. Because we had an early service for most of my ministry years, I was unavailable to help get the children ready and off to Church. My wife labored quietly behind the scenes for many years and very rarely had a word of complaint. In ministry, we joke about hiring a pastor and getting two for one—his wife is the unpaid one. This was so true in our case but by God’s grace we joyfully walked the path together!
Clarence & Shauntai Stowers 2013
Even though Shauntai is not a paid employee of the Church, she willingly did many things to help the ministry. She also managed the family finances to lift that burden from me. Her frugal and careful ways enabled us to live for years on minimal pay during the early years of pastoring. Even though she would never seek credit for her role, I honestly believe that Mars Hill Baptist Church became the thriving ministry it is today partly because of her faithfulness. She never complained about the sacrificial path of being married to a pastor. She simply ministered quietly and faithfully to help me and the ministry. I could not have done it without her!
Thank you for sharing in this brief word of tribute to my wife of 21 years. I thank God for her and pray for many more good years serving Christ together.
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