FBC Aliceville member Cynthia Colvin named Missions Volunteer of the Yearcomment (0)
November 28, 2013
By Carrie Brown McWhorter
Cynthia Colvin was shocked when she found out she had been chosen as 2013 Missions Volunteer of the Year, but no one who knows Colvin was surprised by the news.
“She is the true definition of a missions volunteer. She takes the Great Commission very seriously and truly does go and teach all nations, baptizing and making disciples for the Lord,” said Janie Colvin, Cynthia’s youngest daughter and the one who nominated her for the annual award given by the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions.
Colvin, a lifelong member of First Baptist Church, Aliceville, in Pickens Baptist Association, committed her life to Christ at a young age and experienced His peace in extraordinary circumstances. At the age of 12, she was diagnosed with a heart problem and underwent open heart surgery at the age of 15. During the entire ordeal, she felt God’s comforting hand.
“I never worried about dying then, but as I got older, I realized how wonderful God had been to me. I said then that I would serve Him for the rest of my life,” Colvin said.
That is just what she has done, throughout her community, the state, the nation and the world.
“Cynthia has a heart for missions straight out of Acts 1:8,” said Charlie Wilson, pastor of First, Aliceville. “She has a passion for people and wants them to know the Lord like she does.”
One example of Colvin’s involvement in local missions is her work with women in prison. Colvin has taught Bible study on Wednesday afternoons at Pickens County Jail in Carrollton for more than 15 years. This year, the opportunity to reach imprisoned women for Christ has expanded in Pickens County with the opening of a federal corrections facility for women in Aliceville. By the end of this year, the prison will house more than 1,700 inmates, and Pickens Association volunteers are already ministering to the women who have arrived.
“The jail ministry is my first really big passion,” Colvin said. “These are women who are suffering the consequences of bad decisions, but I tell them they weren’t arrested, they were rescued. We encourage them to use their time in prison to draw nearer to God.”
About 10 years ago, Colvin heard about Heaven Bound Clowns, a Pickens County-based clowning ministry. She was intrigued, but she did not think she could fit another activity into her schedule. Her husband convinced her otherwise, and CeCe the Clown, named after Colvin’s grandmother, joined the troupe.
Colvin will quickly say that clowning is not an easy ministry.
“It takes hours of planning and practice, preparing a theme and illusions to go with it,” Colvin said. “But it’s so wonderful to make people laugh and let them see that Christians have fun.”
The clowns also use balloons, temporary tattoos and stickers to share a simple message: “Smile, God Loves You.” More than anything, Colvin said clowning opens doors to witnessing opportunities that might not be available to other missionaries.
Last summer during a missions trip to Brazil, Colvin experienced this firsthand. In character as CeCe, Colvin was walking down the street with other missions volunteers after a school visit when a man stepped out of a hospital. He introduced himself as a hospital administrator and asked the translator if the clown would come in and see the patients. Colvin asked the others to pray for her, then went inside and visited with patients, doctors and nurses in the hospital wards.
“It was such a joy to be able to talk to the patients, which wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t been a clown,” Colvin said. “It’s rewarding yet emotional. Clowns are not supposed to cry, but sometimes you can’t help it.”
Colvin’s husband, Johnny, and her three daughters have been her biggest encouragers. Colvin said she is grateful for her husband’s support of her missions work and for the fact that they grew up together in a missions-minded church. She also credits Pickens Association and Director of Missions Gary Farley for continuing to provide a variety of missions opportunities locally, nationally and globally.
Though she enjoys sharing the gospel on trips and in small groups like the Soul Sisters Bible study fellowship, Colvin has daily opportunities to share Jesus in her job as an elementary school teacher at Pickens Academy in Carrollton. Recently Colvin was honored at the school, and a former student who spoke at the ceremony said that being in Colvin’s class was like going to Sunday School every day.
Wilson said that comment describes the loving attitude Colvin takes everywhere she goes. “Whether it’s leading prayer or teaching a Sunday School lesson or simply walking up to somebody, Cynthia always has the right thing to say,” he said. “She is so genuine and loving. I wish every pastor could have a church member like Cynthia.”
For Colvin, missions is simply a way of life that allows her to share her love of Jesus with others.
“All I do is for God’s glory. I’m so grateful He has allowed me to be available for Him.”
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