Meet Kay Schecht, Distinguished Evangelist of The United Methodist Church

The news was devasting. Seven children killed in Irving, Texas. Kay Schecht, Distinguished Evangelist of The United Methodist Church read about the tragic deaths and knew that she had to act. These children of God deserved a safe space. Kay approached her local church, Plymouth Park United Methodist Church, to ask for their partnership. Bill La Barr, Senior Pastor, and the Plymouth Park team recognized an opportunity to fulfill their vision to have a congregation where the faces in the church look just like the faces around the church and made room for ministry to begin.

She never expected to serve a mostly Spanish-speaking population since she is not bilingual herself, but God creates the understanding and Kay listens carefully to the children. Saying that the children shape the ministry, every story begins with a child’s name followed by a detailed summary of their unique gift or dream and concluding with a favorite memory of how the child’s needs were met. EVERY name. EVERY unique story. Putting a face on more than 22 years of ministry.

 

One young woman invited Kay to attend her high school graduation. For the student, this was a way to honor Miss Schecht’s role in her life. After the ceremony, she dared to share her dream to attend college with Kay. Did Kay offer words of encouragement before going home? NO! Kay said I’ll be at your house tomorrow morning. They went together to the community college where Kay helped the young woman navigate the unfamiliar territory leaving campus only after she registered for the term.

These are just two of the lessons Kay Schecht, the 2017 Distinguished Evangelist of The United Methodist Church, has for us. We invite you to join Kay and the FFE for a year-long journey to explore our call as lay evangelists.

One last story. Kay recounts her relationship with a very special young man. Chuckling, she recalls how nervous she was when she agreed to take him to church for the first time. You see, he asked Miss Schecht what she did on Sunday, and she said I worship at my church. Well, he wanted to go with her. Kay says, “All I could think was how can he keep all that energy intact for the entire service?” The memory continues. Kay connected him with a math tutor so that he was prepared to fulfill his dream of college. Today, Kay reports with a sparkle in her eye, “He lives a middle-class life, owns a home, and is active in his local church.”

And that’s how you measure a transformed life.