By Nancy R. Elliott
The Herald Bulletin
ANDERSON — Susie Cameron and her husband Tom built their life in Florida. Susie worked 14 years as an office manager in a CPA firm. Tom worked at a wholesale food company. The couple built the house in which they planned to retire in the Sunshine State. Then, God threw a wrench in works.
“I had one of those middle of the night experiences I would have told you nobody has,” said Susie. She said God called, and she argued. Although she and Tom were always active in the church, this new calling wasn't part of Susie's plan. In the end, however, God won. Susie and Tom headed off to Lexington, Kentucky so that Susie could start seminary at age 57. At age 60, Susie and her husband Tom settled in their native state of Indiana, right here in Anderson. The Rev. Susie Cameron signed on as pastor of East Lynn Christian Church. Now, at age 71, Pastor Susie has been with East Lynn for almost 11 years. “It’s been quite a ride,” said Pastor Susie. She noted that once she acquiesced to the new calling in her life, “Every detail fell into place.” “I am so appreciative of East Lynn giving an older woman a chance. It’s such a privilege for me,” said Pastor Susie. “I’ve probably been preparing for this all my life and didn’t know it.”She shepherds a congregation of about 90 very active church regulars at the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Pastor Susie describes the church membership as people of the Table, with a capital T. “Communion is the high point,” said Pastor Susie, of their Sunday services. The East Lynn church celebrated its 120th birthday in 2011. At one time, the church was located at 23rd and Jefferson. In 1994, it moved to its present location on 53rd, and in 2006 they celebrated their first service in a brand new sanctuary added to the building. The stained glass windows of the old church were incorporated into the new sanctuary.The church membership is also a blend of the old and the new. Some members’ grandparents attended the church, others are newly arrived to the church and denomination. However they wind up at East Lynn’s doorstep, they’re prepared to get involved. About 30 church volunteers man the church’s food pantry every Wednesday, last week serving 132 families.“It’s getting bigger every week,” said Pastor Susie.At Thanksgiving, East Lynn, with help from New Horizons United Methodist Church and Fall Creek Christian Church, hosts a Thanksgiving dinner that feeds 1,000 people – much of it delivered to senior citizens.All the while, the church is busy with Wednesday choir practice, Monday youth groups, Bible studies and more.“It’s just really fun to be with a congregation that’s so active. They’re not afraid of hard work,” said Pastor Susie. “It’s a great congregation.” Pastor Susie is among those hard workers. In addition to Sunday sermons, she’s officiating weddings and funerals, directing choir, leading Bible studies and more. Tom is also active at the church, serving as an elder and a Sunday school teacher. “It’s just such a privilege to meet people in the vulnerable spots in their lives,” observed Pastor Susie. “The difficult moments of life - ministers are invited into those moments.”Pastor Susie is launching a Bible study on Genesis starting this week. There’s a Wednesday morning session at 10 a.m., and another on Thursday evenings at 6:30 p.m.You may also want to circle your calendar for Friday, Sept. 20, when the church hosts Dan’s Fish Fry from 4 to 8 p.m. Cost for adults is $9 in advance or $10 at the door. Kids get in for $5. East Lynn Christian Church is located at 522 East 53rd St. in Anderson. Sunday worship services at East Lynn are at 10:30 a.m., with a 9:30 a.m. Sunday school. For more information, call 643-7415.
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If you go: What: Dan's Fish Fry Where: East Lynn Christian Church, 522 East 53rd St., Anderson When: Friday, Sept. 20, 4-8- p.m. Cost: Adults $9 in advance, $10 at the door. Kids $5. More info: Call 643-7415.