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Meet Our Members: Joan Lowry

Meet Our Members: Joan Lowry

This week, we will get to know another long-time member, Joan Lowry. Joan’s husband, Fred, passed away, in 2014. Fred and Joan joined Western Avenue October 4, 1970. 

Joan grew up Baptist and Fred grew up Presbyterian. Joan told him before they got married that she would join the Presbyterian church with him if their kids would be baptized as believers when they were saved. They met when Joan sang a solo at Fred’s church. Fred had just gotten out of military service and came to Joan’s house with his sister to ask if she would go on a date with him. Joan sent back word that she was already going steady with another fellow. He told Joan, “If you are ever single again, give me a whistle.” Sometime later, Joan did break up with her boyfriend and a girlfriend of hers “gave Fred a whistle.” Fred and Joan went on their first date. They finished schooling in medical technology and pharmacy and were married in 1953. The Lord blessed them with five wonderful children: Fred, Jr., Scott, Paul, Beth, and Mary Carol. 

Joan says she cannot recall a time in her life when she did not know and love the Lord. Her grandmother lived with them when she was three months old and took care of her as her parents worked. God was real to her Grandmother and he became real to Joan. She remembers praying because she wanted to be baptized and she wanted to make sure it was real. When she was eight years old in the town of Lowell, NC, the preacher finished preaching and led the closing song. He stopped singing in the middle of the song, saying he sensed someone needed to “come forward.” Joan’s heart was pounding and he called her out by name. She responded and was saved and baptized shortly after that. The Lord answered her prayer. She says it is “astounding he would do all that for me.”

Joan and Fred ended up at Western Avenue in 1970. Fred was an elder in the Presbyterian church. Joan had a young friend who died at Iredell Memorial Hospital. When she died, Joan called her pastor because she was greatly concerned about her friend’s soul. She wanted to know if her pastor had ever had the opportunity to talk to her friend about the gospel. Her pastor heard her concern and responded by saying, “Oh, don’t you worry about that. God would never send anyone to hell.” It was at that point Joan and Fred decided to look for a new church. They visited all kinds of different churches – Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian. Fred was pretty certain he was not going to join a Baptist church, but they attended Western Avenue. The pastor, Jake Honeycutt, was preaching through the book of Isaiah. That really meant a lot to Fred and Joan. They loved the good Bible preaching on WMIT and listened to different radio preachers like Stephen Olford every day. The Word of God drew them to Western Avenue and kept them there. Even their children were being fed spiritually in the worship service and in the youth group. 

Joan and Fred have served in many roles at WABC over the years. Joan was in the choir from the beginning and even served as interim music director for about a year. She was in charge of three separate choirs: children, youth and the adults. The youth choir traveled to sing in many different churches. Joan loved it and Fred sang in the choir with her. 

Fred and Joan taught a couples’ class together. Joan says Fred was such a good teacher and it was difficult for her to sit in another class he was not teaching. Joan also taught in Precepts classes. Of course, Fred became a deacon and served faithfully for many years. 

Joan says Western Avenue is her home church. She never wanted to go anywhere else. She loves the people. Anybody can come to Western Avenue. She appreciates the warmth of the church. It is a lovely church and it has good loving people. The people were good to Joan’s children and taught them all so well. She is so thankful Fred saw the light! 

Posted by Meredith Collins at 7:00 AM
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