Oral History Project
Interview with Mary Coe
October 12, 2016 | 11:00am
Recorded at Azalea Trace
Transcribed by Jeb Hunt
Debra Tallman: What originally brought you to First Church?
Mary Coe: It was the most impressive church that I knew of in Pensacola. I mean, it was a Methodist church, it was downtown and thatâ€™s the one I had been accustomed to in North Alabama. I mean, you know, in the main church and so, anyway, it was just natural for me to come to that church.
Debra Tallman: So what made you decide to stay and call it your church home?
Mary Coe: Because of the things that went on there and one of the things, the main things, was what they did with children, what they did with young people and children to keep them on the right track.
Debra Tallman: How has First Church changed over the years?
Mary Coe: Well, itâ€™s got bigger. A lot bigger. And hasâ€¦I donâ€™t know that itâ€¦I donâ€™t know that itâ€™s changed a lot other than itâ€™s bigger and has more things to get involved. A lot ofâ€¦a lot of things going on that did not go on to begin with and so..they were always in the frontâ€¦they were always in what was going on and what needed to go on.
Debra Tallman: So in asking thatâ€¦how have the ministries of First Church impacted our world and played a role in the community?
Mary Coe: They were just always there and always ready to do whatever the church thought needed to be done and did it and one of the things, the main things they did, is pay attention to children and young people. I think young people need all the direction they can get. I think that thatâ€™s one of the main things that they did.
Debra Tallman: What are some of the missions and causes that you were involved in down at the church?
Mary Coe: Oh goshâ€¦I, you know, I donâ€™t remember. I just remember always being involved in something.
Debra Tallman: Yeah. You were. Whatâ€¦do you have a favorite memory about worship at the church?
Mary Coe: Favorite memberâ€¦remembrance about worshipâ€¦I just, I always thought that it was a worshipful place to be. It wasâ€¦thatâ€™s what it was about. It was about worshipping God. Worshipping. Worshipping. Does that make any sense?
Debra Tallman: Thatâ€™s what it is supposed to do. Yeah. Letâ€™s see. What do you think makes First Church unique?
Mary Coe: One of the things is the work with young people. There is alwaysâ€¦always importantâ€¦it deals with the world and the important things that are need to be dealt with in the world, I think. Does that make sense?
Debra Tallman: What does First Church mean to you?
Mary Coe: (tearfully) God is there. God isâ€¦Itâ€™s where you can go and know that God is there. And God is with youâ€¦with me. There. I can be led there. I donâ€™t know how I would haveâ€¦I donâ€™t know how I would have ever had such good children if we would not have First Church to guide us and direct us. And thatâ€™s soâ€¦First Church is my life. Itâ€™s what has kept meâ€¦kept me close to God and in the right direction for my life. Does that make sense?
Debra Tallman: It all makes sense.
Jeb Hunt: Beautiful.
Debra Tallman: It makes perfect sense. Do you have any visions for First Church in the future? What are your hopes for First Church? What would you hope for that? As a church familyâ€¦as a church community.
Mary Coe: To keep moving inâ€¦to keep moving and with the society and keepâ€¦keep up with society and what is going on and be a part of it. And the ministers, the Sunday school, and everybody involved to keep abreast of what the world needs and what the people there need. Thatâ€™s the main thing. Thank you.
Debra Tallman: Itâ€™s an honor.
Mary Coe: Wellâ€¦andâ€¦I just am thankful to be here. I donâ€™t know whatâ€¦my family would have never been the same and my children would have never been the same. My children are all goodâ€¦good Christian childrenâ€¦Christian people and they would have never been the same without First Church. I would have never been the same without First Church.
Debra Tallman: What a testimony. Thank you.
Mary Coe: Youâ€™re welcome.