One thing children at First Baptist Church of Augusta could always count on was Patti Fowler knowing their name.
“We all remember the hallmark of Patti’s ministry for 35 years from 1983 to 2018,” said the Rev. Dr. Rodger Murchison, retired associate pastor who delivered remarks Dec. 3 at the dedication of Patti’s Playground at the church on Walton Way. “We all remember Patti had the unique gift of calling children by their first name.”
Fowler served as the church’s minister of preschool and children for 35 years, and even though she’s retired, she still volunteers as a teacher of 3 and 4-year-olds, teaching Dec. 3.
She not only remembered the names of all the children in the preschool department at church during its Sunday and Wednesday services as well as its Vacation Bible School, Mother’s Day Out program and kindergarten. but she remembered their parents, grandparents and extended families.
Remembering their name might seem like a small detail, but to a child, he said, it means so much. They know that they matter.
Murchison said he asked what her secret was once, and he learned that she made it a point to study all their names and get photos of them to put the two together. And according to her husband, Bill, she made him quiz her to ensure she got them right.
“She knew how important it was,” Murchison said. “She said ‘I wanted to know the names of people whom I serve.’”
Murchison said that Fowler’s devotion to her job and those she served was evident in many ways including the care she took of the other playground at the church. The new playground doesn’t have woodchips.
“I remember Patti with a blower, blowing woodchips,” Murchison said. “Chips would be everywhere, and she would blow them back in place, so the playground would be ready the next day.”
While at First Baptist Church, she impacted hundreds, if not thousands of children including Murchison’s own two children, teaching them the fundamentals of faith through word and song and teaching them about Jesus, he said.
During the ceremony, Martha Kate Hall, First Baptist’s current minister to preschool and families, said she was one of those children who name Mrs. Patti knew.
Fowler didn’t make any remarks during the brief ceremony and ribbon cutting, but she expressed her thankfulness afterward.
“I’m overwhelmed with gratitude for the thoughtfulness of the church members and their love and support of me over the years,” she said.
Charmain Z. Brackett, the publisher of Augusta Good News and Inspiring: Women of Augusta, has covered Augusta’s news for 35 years. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sign up for the newsletter here.
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