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 that’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, it’s got bigger. A lot bigger. And has…I don’t know that it…I don’t know that it’s changed a lot other than it’s bigger and has more things to get involved. A lot of…a lot of things going on that did not go on to begin with and so..they were always in the front…they were always in what was going on and what needed to go on.
Debra Tallman: So in asking that…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 that’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 gosh…I, you know, I don’t remember. I just remember always being involved in something.
Debra Tallman: Yeah. You were. What…do you have a favorite memory about worship at the church?
Mary Coe: Favorite member…remembrance about worship…I just, I always thought that it was a worshipful place to be. It was…that’s what it was about. It was about worshipping God. Worshipping. Worshipping. Does that make any sense?
Debra Tallman: That’s what it is supposed to do. Yeah. Let’s see. What do you think makes First Church unique?
Mary Coe: One of the things is the work with young people. There is always…always important…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 is…It’s where you can go and know that God is there. And God is with you…with me. There. I can be led there. I don’t know how I would have…I don’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 that’s so…First Church is my life. It’s what has kept me…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 family…as a church community.
Mary Coe: To keep moving in…to keep moving and with the society and keep…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. That’s the main thing. Thank you.
Debra Tallman: It’s an honor.
Mary Coe: Well…and…I just am thankful to be here. I don’t know what…my family would have never been the same and my children would have never been the same. My children are all good…good Christian children…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: You’re welcome.