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Five Questions: Sarah Wells on path of service

Sue Guinn Legg • May 3, 2020 at 7:27 PM

Five years out from her retirement from Good Samaritan Ministries, Sara Wells the ministry’s former executive director, is two months into her new job as executive director of the nonprofit Friends In Need Health Care Center in Kingsport.

Wells is caring for her husband Vernon as he battles cancer. She’s running her own all-volunteer nonprofit agency for underserved children. And after a series of surgeries that led her to step down from two churches she was simultaneously pastoring, Wells is waiting for a new church assignment from the local United Methodist conference

In between all that, Wells took time last week to bring us up to speed on how she is doing and where her decades-long path of community service has taken her.

How’s the family?

“My husband Vernon just finished 40 radiation treatments and we are praying for God’s healing. The children and grandchildren are great and such blessings. I am so excited to have three great-grandchildren that are 1, 2, and 2. I am so greatly blessed and it just keeps getting better.”

Where are you working?

“I recently became the executive director of Friends In Need Health Center Inc., a nonprofit in Kingsport. I am still leading my own nonprofit, Look Up Child 2 Hope in Johnson City. I am very busy and very happy. I feel alive again and I am ready to serve my Lord where He leads.”

What is your focus at Friends in Need and how has the novel coronavirus pandemic impacted the center’s operations?

“I am busy writing grants, getting to know my new and wonderful staff, doctors and board members. I am looking forward to volunteering through the Appalachian Miles for Smiles and the Vision Mobile units that are our partnership with Mr. Frank Waldo. I am having visions of great growth. The COVID-19 has totally turned our clinic and mobile units around and given us new ways to better meet our neighbors’ health needs.”

As a minister, what is your message to people in these uncertain times of a deadly pandemic and its frightening economic fallout?

“That God keeps His promises. He has promised to never leave us and made sure that we know that we are not to fear. The second part is do our very best to learn, to pray for wisdom, and leave all things to God. We are in His hands.”

What drives you in your nonprofit service work?

“It is who God made me to be as a servant to others. God has delivered me from great adversities and it is a blessing to help someone in need. I am grateful that I can still make a difference and I love it.”

And just for fun:

Dogs or cats? Dogs. I have a rescue that was badly abused and I have fallen in love with her. She is a poodle mix.

Tea or coffee? Both

Favorite book? Bible

Favorite TV show? When Calls the Heart.

Favorite film? Any Hallmark

Favorite getaway? Anywhere in the mountains.

Greatest influence on your life? My father and mother. Then Rev. Winfred Floyd, my pastor.