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March 1, 2024

How did growing up in the church shape you into the woman you are today?

Thomasina: Growing up in the church, I saw God’s love in action. Today, I am a person who shows the love of God to others. My house has always been open to feed, house, clothe, encourage, and love people. I show that same compassion at New Walk of Life Church and Alabama State University while interacting with students and colleagues. My husband, Pastor Ken Austin, and I founded the Mercy House, which caters to the basic needs of neighbors experiencing poverty and other challenges, and we are so thankful for the employees, community partners, and sponsors.

You have been an English instructor for 32 years and take pride in spiritually connecting with your students. How do you do that?

Thomasina: I usually offer encouraging words and share personal stories that provide hope. I also pray with them if they want me to do so. Often, I invite them to church to connect with other young people and experience a sense of family away from home.

How did you know and trust that God was placing you in a line of work and giving you wisdom to fulfill your life?

Thomasina: When I was a little girl, I would pretend to be a teacher, and my cousins were my students. I have been teaching and imparting wisdom at Alabama State University for 32 years and have taught Sunday school for over 20 years. As God gives me wisdom and knowledge, I find an audience and share.

Being a pastor’s wife and member of New Walk of Life, what roles and responsibilities do you hold within the church walls?

Thomasina: At church, I head the women’s ministry and spearhead other rewarding activities. I teach the women’s Sunday school class, which allows me to encourage my sisters as we study the Bible and apply it to real-life situations. I also implemented a mentoring program that involves older women teaching younger women how to shop for a bargain, budget, cook, dress modestly, study His word, be outstanding students, and chart a career path.

I work with the youth (ages 14-22) to encourage them to hone their writing skills. I formulate writing prompts for essay competitions that allow our youth to use critical-thinking skills to address a topic, follow a specific format, and earn a reward for their efforts.

Whenever a church project needs execution, I pray and share the idea with my NWOLC sisters. We zero in on what needs completion. The project is usually a success, and God receives the glory.

You believe in maintaining a servant’s heart and a calling to empower women. What are ways you connect with other women?

Thomasina: I am a member of Women of W.I.L.L (Women Impacting and Lifting Lives). The founder is Sheyann Webb Christburg, who inspires women to participate in various community service activities. As a member of this great organization, I am inspired to celebrate my sisters and work harmoniously with them as we empower each other.

How did you teach your three children to develop a relationship with Christ?

Thomasina: Growing up, my children attended Sunday School and learned biblical principles: patience, empathy, honesty, forgiveness, and kindness. They also learned the importance of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ through praying and reading God’s word daily.

You serve as a board member for Montgomery Christian School and an advocate for the Art Splash program. How does Art Splash benefit the students?

Thomasina: Art Splash is a major annual fundraising event that benefits children at Montgomery Christian School, a private non-profit Christian school for underserved children. Every child at MCS receives a scholarship, so our goal is to raise money to complete our scholarship fund for MCS students. This year, Art Splash will be held May 9th (1-3:00 p.m. and 6:30-9:30 p.m.) at the lovely home and gardens of Amy and Tom Methvin,1919 Hull Street. It is always a lively, festive event, and most attendees leave with thought-provoking, colorful, and valuable artwork from talented local artists.

What Christian literature would you recommend that inspires?

  1. The Bible
  2. Strong: Devotions to Live a Powerful and Passionate Life by Lisa Bevere
  3. Glory: Celebrating the Glory of God in Daily Life by Walter Albritton

Thomasina Austin has been married to Ken Austin since 1983. They have three children: Kaius, Thomas, and Kenneth.

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