President David Thompson recently visited St. Barnabas Presbyterian Church to thank Ann Perryman for her service. Pictured left to right are Associate Pastor Rev. Owen Gray, David Thompson, Ann Perryman and Senior Pastor Rev. Katy Rigler.
In 1959, when Elvis and Eisenhower were making news headlines, Ann Perryman and the women of St. Barnabas Presbyterian Church were making sandwiches for children at the United Presbyterian Homes at Waxahachie. She had followed the good work of the Reynolds Presbyterian Orphanage by reading the Messenger newsletter as a young woman in Albany, TX, and has never stopped.
Now 88, Ann recalls participating as a 12-year-old when her church in Albany collected Christmas gifts, wrapped in white tissue paper, for the Reynolds home. As an adult she became involved again when she joined St. Barnabas Presbyterian Church in Richardson. Even through the Reynolds agency’s moves to Dallas and later to Waxahachie (eventually becoming PCHAS), Ann stayed involved.
Ann was a teacher in Dallas and Richardson and worked with the children’s library at Greenhill School for several years. Coming from a long line of teachers, she found it very natural to advocate for children. Her three grown sons are also committed to education, social justice and, not surprisingly, PCHAS. “Something needs to be done to support these foster children,” she taught them. “If the church can do a better job than state facilities, then we are called to do that.”
PCHAS moved from dormitories to smaller homes for the children in its care, and then added community-based programs as well. Ann was impressed with its foresight and attention to children’s development. “PCHAS’ programs have moved with the times and it’s important for the churches to keep up with the times and needs,” she states. She points out that PCHAS supports children and mothers as well as fathers.
In recent years, Ann decided to volunteer as an Ambassador. She serves on the Outreach Committee of St. Barnabas and became a table host at our luncheons. She can handle those arrangements from home and still contribute to the community.
When asked why someone should support PCHAS, this longtime donor and volunteer had an answer ready: “They’d get a good return on their dollar if they are interested in seeing the impact of their donations. It is a Christlike approach that has had good results and has helped change many families’ lives.”