Sue Patton lives in Westtown and is married to Bill, who pastors here at Covenant Fellowship Church. Bill and Sue were among the founding members of CFC, and Bill was the first senior pastor of our church. Here, Sue shares some of her story and the wisdom she’s learned over the years of walking with Christ.
What was it like for you and Bill being part of the church plant for Covenant Fellowship?
We lived in Silver Spring, Maryland, and were sent out from Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, Maryland. It’s been an adventure. We’ve been through many, many ministry and church developments. It has been exciting to see all that God has done and continues to do through His church and how He uses the gifts and talents that we all bring to the table and makes something beautiful out of it.
Tell us a bit about your background. Where did you grow up and how did you come to know Christ?
For the first seven years of my life, I grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico. My parents got a divorce, and we moved with my mom to Gaithersburg, Maryland to live with my grandparents on a goat farm. I really liked living on a farm where there were so many things to do. Playing with the baby goats, playing in the creek that ran through their garden, sleigh riding on wintery slopes, or just hanging out in the barn were all great fun. Getting to live with my grandparents turned something bad (my parents’ divorce) into something good.
I had an experience with Christ when I was eight and again when I was fifteen. When I was eight I had watched some war footage on television. I was in my room, alone and scared from what I had seen. I started thinking about God and how great God is. I wanted to give him something and could only come up with giving him myself. Though I had never heard the gospel, a profound peace came over me. When I was fifteen a friend invited me to a Christian youth meeting called TAG [Take and Give]. I heard the gospel clearly articulated and went forward at an altar call to accept Christ. God has been faithful to watch over me all these many years and keep me in His flock.
Tell us about your family.
I’ve been married for almost 45 years. Bill and I have five children and fifteen grandchildren. Every year we go to the beach in North Carolina with our oldest son and his family. We get together with our other kids and their children for Thanksgiving and Easter. We see our youngest daughters the most. They live together in Media. They come over weekly to do laundry and hang out together. I am so thankful that God allowed us to adopt them from China.
Wow, married for 45 years! What would you say you’ve learned in that time?
God has been faithful in our marriage through the good and the bad times to bring us through to a place of peace. In the earlier years of our marriage, I would have never called our marriage peaceful. We had many trials and struggles. But He has brought us through to a place of peace and contentment. God has done it all.
Where’s another area you’ve seen the Lord’s work in your life?
I suppose the Lord has worked on many areas of my life. One that stands out to me is the area of simplicity. Simplicity not in just lifestyle, though that is included, but simplicity in thought, word, and deed. It seems to be a theme that runs through my mind in many trials. God is always refining me and showing me that only one thing is necessary. “But only one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken from her” (Luke 10:42). It always comes down to this: our relationship with the Lord. If this is kept steady, everything else falls into place.
Last question: if you could talk to a younger version of yourself, what advice would you give her?
I would counsel myself to not get stressed about ministry changes or changes in the church. God is faithful and will take us through it all. He is sovereign and controls everything, even the present pandemic. Somehow and someway, He will bring us through these light, momentary afflictions.