Capitol Words a project of the Sunlight Foundation

  • and

Honoring Reverend W.G. And Mary Terry

Rep. Dale E. Kildee

legislator photo

Mr. Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to rise before you today to speak on the behalf of two people who have made Christian Education their life's work. Each year, the Wolverine State Congress of Christian Education honors individuals for their commitment to Christian Education. On June 7, they will recognize the efforts of Reverend Dr. W.G. Terry, and his wife Mary.

W.G. Terry was born in Linden, Texas, and later moved to Henderson, Texas, early in his childhood. After graduating from high school in Henderson, Reverend Terry went on to obtain degrees from American Baptist Theological Seminary in Nashville, TN; Arkansas Baptist College in Little Rock, AK; and Bishop College in Marshall, TX. It was in Little Rock that Reverend Terry also received his Doctorate of Divinity. Over the years, he has been directed by the Lord to pastorates in Little Rock; Mineola, TX; Dyersburg, TN; Jackson, TN; and finally New Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Flint, MI, where he has been the Pastor for the last 39 years. As Pastor, Reverend Terry operates as a spiritual leader, counselor, confidant, and community leader, among many other roles. He helped build the First Baptist Church in Jackson, Tennessee, and helped organize the Mississippi Valley Association School of Ministers. He purchased the New Zion building and added educational facilities. He has been recognized for distinction by American Baptist Theological Seminary, and by the Jackson NAACP as Father of the Year.

Reverend Terry has held many leadership positions in groups such as the Mississippi Valley District Congress, the Interracial Ministers' Alliance, and the Wolverine Baptist State Convention. After serving as the President of the Great Lakes Baptist Conference for 26 years, he was granted Emeritus status. He also serves as an instructor for the Flint Baptist Ministers' Alliance and the National Baptist Congress.

On November 2, 1945, W.G. Terry married Mary Hollins in Henderson, Texas. Mrs. Terry was born in Longview, Texas, and completed her schooling in Henderson. She attended Fisk University and Tennessee State College in Nashville, before receiving a degree from Arkansas Baptist College. Mary became a teacher in Texas and Tennessee, and was also a Vacation Bible School instructor for the East Texas District Baptist Congress. Along with her husband, she helped found the Tennessee Baptist Youth Encampment.

Mrs. Terry currently serves as Co-Director of Christian Education at New Zion Missionary Baptist Church. She also serves as an Instructor of Minister's Wives for the Great Lakes Baptist Congress and the Wolverine State Baptist Congress. She has been Program Director of the National Baptist Minister's Wives for more than 40 years. In addition, she and her husband have raised a wonderful daughter, and have two grandchildren.

Mr. Speaker, as a former teacher and seminarian, I am very proud of the work that Reverend W.G. and Mrs. Mary Terry have done to improve our academic and spiritual well being. It is because of people like them that the Flint community is a better place in which to live. I ask my colleagues in the 106th Congress to join me in congratulating their achievements.