December 23, 2020
EDITOR’S NOTE — As part of our send-off to TAB Media team member Janet Erwin, I wanted you to hear from her. She has been a mentor and friend to me for more than 25 years, and we both have loved how God connected our paths. Janet helped raise me during my first role out of college and for the past two years, she’s helped me transition into my new role here at TAB while preparing for her own transition to retirement.
By Janet Erwin
Executive Editor/Copy Editor, The Alabama Baptist
Repeatedly, I’ve heard others say you’ll know when it is time to retire, and they were right. My time is the end of 2020.
Looking back, I am amazed at the opportunities God has showered on me along the way.
Serving as a staffer at Shocco Springs Baptist Assembly (now Shocco Springs Baptist Conference Center) the summer before my high school senior year became my first job and entrance into the ministry world.
I entered the official working world the day after high school graduation and have pretty much been going ever since either part time or full time.
Along this journey, a multitude of people have shaped my life and given me a variety of opportunities.
One is Mrs. Fitzgerald who taught me typing and accounting in high school — two skills I have used at some level throughout my working days.
I also will always be beholden to Stan Nelson who selected me for the missionary journeyman program to serve two years in the Bahamas.
I credit Morris Wright, a missionary, for recognizing my editorial/writing potential and sending me on an editorial path writing the first Vacation Bible School curriculum for the English-speaking Caribbean churches.
Upon leaving the missions field, Mr. Reynolds really took a risk when he hired me as a 5th grade teacher with an alternative teaching certification (from passing four state tests) but not holding an elementary education degree.
Missions Mosaic editor
Joyce Mitchell opened the door for me to work out my missions calling stateside by hiring me in an editorial position at National Woman’s Missionary Union.
I spent 12 l/2 years there among some of the most creative, committed people, telling the stories of our missionaries, garnering support for them in many ways and pouring into the lives of interns.
I retired from National WMU in December 2018, but my working days were not finished.
Jennifer Rash invited me to be a part of the TAB team when she became the new president and editor-in-chief. She and I had met while serving on the missions field with Caribbean Christian Publications in the early 90s.
What a joy it has been to serve with her and the others at TAB these two years.
I’ve watched all the transformations take place, from physical changes to the building to internal work policy and practice changes brought about by Jennifer’s leadership.
Plus, I have had the opportunity to experience a varied job description, learn new things, enjoy flexibility and be affirmed and encouraged in the last two years of my working career.
Finally, I’m thankful to my parents who instilled into my brothers and me a strong work ethic. I’m also appreciative of my husband and sons’ support throughout the years.
But mostly, I’m thankful God bestowed on me gifts and abilities I’ve tried to faithfully use in His kingdom work.
I look forward to my next chapter when I am free to volunteer in a variety of ways.
God is already showing me a ministry possibility with some widowed women in my neighborhood.
His work is never done!