“I have always had a heart for ministry and I believe the Lord choose me for this job.” — Pat Sumner, Helps Ministry Coordinator
- Born in Glendale, California.
- Moved to Tumwater at age 26 with her son.
- Former state government employee.
How would you describe CCO’s “church culture” to others? CCO is a group of people who recognize, for the most part, that they need a Savior and are together daily surrendering their lives to Jesus. We come from many different cultures and backgrounds and desire to be more like Christ Jesus.
What kind of “Christian presence” do you seek to project to people? The Helps Ministry is one that is mostly done away from the limelight. I think this ministry is seeking to project to the people that the Love of Jesus can and does come from the hands and feet of the people within the church.
What unique talents/background do you bring to your position? I know I was given the gift of helps and administration. I have some education and experience in accounting and was in the banking industry for a number of years. I have payroll and administrative experience as well. I have owned my own business. I am not a stranger to manual labor either. Because of these different venues I have gained knowledge of the community services available to the general public.
You’ve also lived through some incredible experiences that help you understand others’ needs. I survived my parents’ divorce and started working and living on my own at the age of 17. I have been the wife of a godly man who found himself unemployed for almost a year. I have been a working woman and a stay-at-home wife and mother. I have had nine foster children, have been the caregiver for my nephew for three and a half years, and I also home schooled my son for four years. I have been divorced and I have been a widow. I have been a single mom twice. I have overcome the grief of losing my father, grandparents, aunts and uncles, as well as friends. And I have also overcome the guilt and grief of aborting my own child. I have learned to be the caregiver for my mom who is suffering from Alzheimer’s. I have been delivered from drugs, alcohol, and a sinful life style, all by the grace of God. Through all of this I have come to know Jesus as my Lord and Savior, have been forgiven of my sins, and have received the gift of eternal life with Him. I have had the privilege of being helped by the body of Christ and have had many opportunities to help others. I have learned that Jesus is in control of all things even when it doesn’t look or feel like He is.
Why is CCO your personal church home? I got saved at a little church here in town. My late husband, Russ Sumner, heard Pastor Chuck on the radio and had not heard his style of teaching before. CCO was hosting a concert at the Washington Center for Performing Arts; Russ took us there so that we could meet this Pastor Chuck. We began to attend, what was then called Calvary Fellowship when they were meeting downtown in the Capital City Studio building. We were embraced by the body from the first day. We moved from the church I was saved at to CCO because we were ready to move from the “milk” of the word to the “meat” of the word. It wasn’t long before we started serving in the body, teaching the three- and four-year-old class. We have been attending and serving here ever since. I had never been in a women’s bible study before. CCO offered a Precept Women’s Bible Study and it changed my life. CCO not only taught us the word of God but helped us have a deeper more personal relationship with Jesus. We grew in our personal relationship with Him, as well as in our marriage, and in raising our kids according to godly principles. We joined a home group and a Koinonia group and started making friends. It wasn’t until my husband passed away that I finally realized how connected to the body we had become. CCO has become my family. I can’t imagine worshiping anywhere else.