WILDWOOD – The finance committee counting money at her kitchen table is just one of Mary Jett’s memories from her 61 years of service as church treasurer of First Baptist Church of Ellisville.
Jett is a charter member of the church established in 1959. “They asked me to be the treasurer when I was home with two small children,” she said. “I had worked at a bank so I believe they thought I would be good at it. This was a way for me to serve and stay at home.”
“Mary has faithfully served as church treasurer for all of these years,” Russ Ewing, executive pastor, said. She has always given her time cheerfully and selflessly. In the early years of FBC Ellisville, Mary was much more than the church treasurer. She spent a lot of time and did whatever it took to manage the church finances.”
Jett continued as Church Treasurer through the merger and establishment of Fellowship of Wildwood in 2017. She stepped down from the office in January 2020.
“I wanted to serve,” Jett continued, “It is a blessing to find what the Lord wants you to do.”
Ryan Bowman, lead pastor, shared a testimony of Jett’s service. “Mary’s motivation for service is a love for the Lord and His church,” he said. “Her volunteer role was truly behind-the-scenes as most of her time was given on days other than Sundays. She is a tremendous example of a faithful servant whose time and efforts were oftentimes only seen by the Lord.”
Volunteer service for the church extended beyond the treasurer position. “My first love was working in the nursery,” she said. “I loved the job of working with my babies and I miss them.”
In addition to the treasurer position and preschool, Jett also served in the bereavement ministry and the kids ministry. She had a long list of financial responsibilities as treasurer: balancing the checkbook; hand-writing contribution statements and signing all checks.
“I took a bookkeeping class early on,” she said. “I wanted to do my best and I always loved working with numbers.”
Jeff Roark, chair of the finance team, vouched for her skills and effectiveness in the role. “I have known Mary Jett since I was 11 years old, almost 50 years and she has always been the church treasurer,” he said. “Mary’s commitment and honesty made our financial duties so much more enjoyable and easier. Her efforts will be greatly missed.”
Working with the numbers gave her an unusual perspective on church growth and it was a faith builder for Jett. “When we first started,” she said, “we had to watch the money closely. Sometimes at the first of the month, the pastor wouldn’t get his pay until Monday morning. God always provided for us.”