After 35 years of full-time service as the church’s senior administrative assistant, Diane King is retiring. Diane has not only been the accurate source of information, the compiler of our reports, and served for many years as the editor of the newsletter, but she’s also been a counselor to the grieving, the first one to congratulate prospective brides and new parents, and the faithful correspondent welcoming visitors every week.
When Diane started 35 years ago, Rev. Williams had recently retired. That means she’s been at the command center of the church’s brain for over a third of the church’s history, serving as the right hand helper for five interims and three senior pastors; seeing the church through a terrible fire (an arson), several building campaigns, and 35 Christmases and Easters. She’s been the memory bank for names, relationships, and connections within the community of the church. And Diane has been the chief scheduler of weddings, baptisms, and funerals… and interpreter of various pastors’ handwriting! Her gift for lovely calligraphy has graced our certificates and documents.
Diane and her husband Mac raised both of their sons in the church — Aaron and Kevin. Diane has worked as an extraordinary volunteer in the Guardian ad Litem program for many years. She’s also on the board of the Bayshore Presbyterian Apartments, and Mac and she are accomplished dancers. Diane will continue to work half-time. In her retired status, she’ll be able to enjoy the afternoons off. Diane and Mac will continue to live in their home in South Tampa, where they enjoy their grandchildren and their beloved pets. This year she particularly enjoyed cheering for her youngest grandson, Aaron, who played cornerback on the Plant football team that went to the state championship game.
Pastor John DeBevoise said, “When Diane started out, her office was in the space where the little coffee shop is now. She’s moved her office four times in her career here, but has always been an invaluable support to each head of staff. I don’t think it’s possible to replace her institutional memory, her network of relationships, and her awareness of what has to happen in order to pull things off. We are all grateful to her. She’s not only been the community facilitator, she’s been our friend.” The congregation greets Diane with a reception on Sunday, January 22nd in the Fellowship Hall. The Session is presenting her with a check in honor of her years of service. We’re fortunate that we’ll continue to have Diane’s knowledge and ability to support us as we look toward the future. Those desiring to send Diane a card or note of congratulations can do so at the church office: 3501 W. San Jose St., Tampa, FL 33629. Thank you, Diane, for such faithful service!!!
Words of Appreciation
“While I have served as Clerk of the Session for 17 years, Diane has been my main source of help, information and guidance. She knew what my duties entailed so she helped with needs before I asked for them. Her abilities with what a computer can do still impresses me with the organization of lists of elders, making name tag tent cards, etc, Then she assembled all the required annual statistics of the church for the GA, a sometimes very frustrating task. Thank you, Diane!!!”- Beverly Mims “If you ever wanted something done, all you had to do was ask Diane. She would say, ‘I can do that!’ And she would!” – Jeanne Rowe
“Diane, I first met you in 1982 when you and Ethel shared that office the size of a walk-in closet and even then you were such a part of the heartbeat of PCPC. Your office grew, your title grew, your responsibilities grew and you grew. And now you are still an important part of the heartbeat of PCPC. Thanks for all you did for me and the Church. God bless!” – Chuck Greenwood, Pastor Emeritus To my dear friend, the ultimate fashion-ista Diane. Diane, if we have a Nuclear Holocaust, you will be the first one out rarin’ to go-complete with makeup and every hair in place! I love you for your infectious love of life, our mutual love of animals, and my conviction that your heart is ten sizes too large for your body. Your BFF Forever and ever – Mary Lee Johnson (CE Administrative Assistant)
“She’s a jewel. If you need her, she’s there for you. Thank you Diane for all you’ve helped me out with”. – Coretha Johnson
Words of Appreciation Prayer By Rev. Nicole Abdnour
We arrive at this time and place grateful to you, O God, for the faithful work and witness of your servant and our friend, Diane King. Diane has served PCPC with energy, creativity, and love through many seasons. She has shown compassion and kindness to the sick and grieving; offered the perspective of practice and tradition in times of change; shepherded and enabled pastors and staff in their work with grace and patience — for these and countless other ways she has shared her gifts of compassion, organization, and faithfulness we lift our voices in thanks and praise. Individually and as a community we have been blessed by Diane’s service. We ask now for your blessing to be upon Diane as she enters a new season of her life and service. Grant her all the gifts needed that she may spend her time traveling, exploring hobbies which bring her pleasure, and enjoying the roles of spouse, mom, and grandmother, roles which brin her such joy. With hearts filled with gratitude, we say thank you God. We pray in the name of Jesus the Christ, Amen.