Congratulations to Sally Owens

Congratulations to Sally Owens for receiving an Outstanding Older Adult Award from New Hope Presbytery! Sally will be honored this Sunday afternoon, May 20th from 3pm - 5pm at First Presbyterian Church, 153 N. Church Street in Rocky Mount. This is such a well deserved recognition, and her church family at West Raleigh is so proud of her. We are invited to cheer Sally on - either in Rocky Mount or here on our home turf. Following is the narrative that Barbara Cain wrote on her behalf:    


Sally MacLeod Owens grew up as a child of the Presbyterian Church. Her father, the Rev. Dr. John D. MacLeod, Jr., served churches in eastern N.C., West Virginia, Virginia, and was the last Synod Executive of the Synod of North Carolina. Sally earned her B.A. in Economics at St. Andrews Presbyterian College, married Robert Owens, and worked for eight years as a social worker in Robeson County. After moving to Raleigh, she earned an A.A. in Accounting Technology at Wake Tech and worked at the Department of the State Treasurer, retiring in 2013.

Through her social work in Robeson County she met Terry, a boy with Down syndrome, a foster child who had been almost starved to death. At seven, he was the size of a two-year-old. She and Robert decided to adopt him, and she quit work to care for him. Terry is now a very happy 47-year-old who works at a vocational center; loves music, bowling, and Special Olympics; and is a communing member of West Raleigh Presbyterian Church. By giving Terry such a good home and by often taking him to meetings and events, she has made it possible for many ordinary people to meet Terry and to understand what a loving person he is.

Sally has been an active member of West Raleigh for 38 years. She serves as a liturgist and a choir member; regularly attends a Sunday School class; and is active in Presbyterian Women. Since her retirement she assists in the church library and office and volunteers with our hunger ministries and with Family Promise, a program for homeless families. She welcomes and enjoys talking with all these guests in our church home.

Beyond West Raleigh, she is a long-time member and sometime chaplain of the Triangle Shape Note Singers, and is chaplain for the Fellowship Club. As a faithful member of the interdenominational and interracial Church Women United, she has visited with farmworkers. She has joined in marches for civil rights and equal opportunity, and the buttons she wears daily on her shirt proclaim her concern for peace and justice. Living with her own dyslexia and having cared for both a husband and a son with considerable disabilities, Sally is very aware, and does not hesitate to make civic officials aware, of the need to improve opportunities in education, in the workplace, and especially in public transportation – so necessary for the disabled and the working poor.

For many years Sally has been a member and officer of the N.C. Presbyterian Historical Society, encouraging appreciation of our heritage. With her knowledge of Presbyterian history, churches, and leaders in North Carolina and Virginia, she answers queries that come in from the public.

She had to quit driving many years ago, but that did not keep her from earning a second degree, working, volunteering, and now taking lifelong learning classes at N.C. State. She trusted God’s guidance in adopting Terry, and she has been strong to overcome difficulties. She is an excellent role model for us all.

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