Located in South Tampa and witnessing to the love of God for over 90 years. Committed to a neighborhood presence, worldwide outreach and a deep heritage of Christian faith.

Celebrating Coretha Johnson

Two wonderful receptions were held on Wednesday, May 18th and on Sunday, May 22nd for Coretha Johnson — Palma Ceia Presbyterian’s beloved cook for nearly 50 years.

The menu on the last Wednesday Night Dinner was meatloaf — a favorite dish of Coretha’s for many years. The whole crowd sang together Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” — a crowd favorite — accompanied by Kenny Haelsig on the piano with Pastor John leading some slightly revised lyrics.

On Sunday morning in the Fellowship Hall, members of the community were able to greet not only Coretha but also her family, with wonderful refreshments shared by volunteers and so capably received, prepared, and organized by Nancy Calfee and Gay Rivas. Orchids decorated the room, and on Wednesday night the centerpieces had the theme of gardening (a favorite vocational activity of Coretha’s, and something Coretha hopes will become a retirement activity).

The congregation gave Coretha a thank you check, many cards and letters, (which we will continue to receive in the church office through June 30) and the gift of a companion dog, with training, to make it a particularly suitable pet for Coretha.

We also had the chance on both occasions to meet many members of Coretha’s family, including on Sunday morning her granddaughters who read a moving letter that Coretha’s daughter Vicky had written in honor of her mother’s life of service.

Coretha’s official last day will be June 30th. However, she expects to continue in a limited part-time capacity helping with specific events as her retirement schedule and her health allow. The Congregational Life Committee is appointing a team in conjunction with the Building & Grounds Committee and the Personnel Committee to begin to seek to hire a new cook for the Wednesday Dinners, which will start again in late August! We look forward to sharing with Coretha in friendship and faith across the years in this new chapter in her life.

A bronze plaque was cast and is being placed on the magnolia tree in the courtyard designating that tree in Coretha’s honor, a continual reminder of her presence and service amongst us.

She rises while it is still night and provides food for her household and tasks for her servant-girls.

(Proverbs 31:15, a verse on the plaque)

For the Coretha Tribute Video – click HERE (published on You Tube)

Celebration pictures below:

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