By DON STINE
Long-time church member Mary S. Owens Scott has become the first female deacon at the Second Baptist Church of Asbury Park.
Scott, who was ordained on Jan. 18, said it is an uncommon event for a woman to become a deacon in the Baptist Church.
“There are probably less than a dozen female deacons in the Shore area. It is not common throughout the Baptist Church,” she said.“There are deaconesses who assist their husbands, who would be a deacon, but not many woman deacons.”
Scott, 59, has been a member of the Second Baptist Church since she was 12 years old. She grew up in Asbury Park but now lives in Neptune where she is currently a special education teacher in the school district.
As far as becoming a deacon, Scott said she feels she is up to the job.
“I am a public servant and an appreciative servant. It is a part of who I am and the same church people I serve now, I have always served and cared for them in the past. Hopefully this will help me to become more obedient to God and help me do His will in my life. I expect more selfless service without expecting recognition or praise,” she said.
“It now gives me an opportunity to put my church’s teachings into practice. I want to be more sensitive and respond to the needs of our congregation,” she said.
Scott, who served as church clerk for 25 years, became a walking deacon, or a deacon in training, in 2013 and actively trained and learned church procedures and protocols.
“This included Bible study and active training sessions regarding church procedures, including baptism and communion,” she said.
In discussing her new role Scott said she welcomes it.
“I feel there is no challenge I won’t be able to meet. I have a very close relationship with God and I believe in prayer and active ministry. There is nothing we can’t accomplish,” she said.
Scott also said that she wants to reach out into her surrounding community.
“I am concerned about the community as well. I am concerned about what is happening with our young people and the community at large. I am not afraid to walk the streets. God keeps me and protects me and I will not be defeated,” she said.
The Second Baptist Church of Asbury Park, at 124 Atkins Avenue, was created in 1885 when it broke away from the predominantly white First Baptist Church, located on the southwest corner of Main Street and Bangs Ave. The pastor, officers, and congregation gave their blessings to the new church.