|Mary Dampier gave herself fully to what she was about, and that is particularly true of her devotion to her family and the church. In her marriage to Rev. Burl Dampier, October 12, 1940, she answered a true, clear call to ministry when she made a commitment to go where you go and do what you do. For Mary and Burl Dampier, the ministry was always a partnership, which was her joy and satisfaction.
She invested herself deeply in the work of the Women’s Society for Christian Service, which became United Methodist Women and would organize units in the local church if one was not in place. Over time, her involvement branched out to district and conference positions in UMW.
Another arena of service for Mary Dampier was with children and youth. She would seek out children to train and organize as acolytes for the service of worship. In the summers, she could be found at Camp Brewer as a camp counselor, giving support and encouragement to young people. In sub-districts and districts across Louisiana, Mary Dampier would give leadership to the youth who were guiding these ministries.
Through all these involvements she raised three children of her own—Lenora, Adella, and John—giving them love and a nurturing home in which to grow.
Her creativity included a love for God’s creation that was evident in the flowers that bloomed in her yard and in the house. She found a sense of pleasure in her gardening that ex-pressed her own gratitude for the gift of creation. Wherever Mary Dampier lived, there were flowers blooming in the yard and in her home.
A look through her Bible shows years of margin notes for Bible Studies, clippings from church programs, cards from church friends, bulletins of special events for UMW and MYF. Gathered here in her Bible are memories of what meant the most to her and were she invested her gifts and her service. Being in the itineracy of the Louisiana Conference gave her joy and meaning. Mary and Burl Dampier served together for 55 years of marriage in the ministry of the United Methodist Church. Looking back, I am sure she would say, “If I could, I would do it all over again.”
From one she inspired and led years ago in the Monroe District MYF
|Source: Journal Louisiana Conference, 1999; p. 256 By Dr. Carole Cotton Winn|