DEWAYNE'S CORNER: More than 120 years of history changed with Sisco's arrival

by Dewayne Boyles

Since 1895 Marlow's Cumberland Presbyterian Church has had only male ministers. That was a fact - until the arrival of Paster Terra Sisco.

For almost eight years we have had a female minister, or as we call her, Pastor Terra Sisco. Born in Eldorado, IL., Pastor Terra grew up in Golconda, IL. She graduated from Pope County High School in 1997. She earned a bachelor of arts from Bethel College (now Bethel University) in 2001. A Master of Divinity was bestowed on Pastor Terra by Memphis Theological Seminary in 2004. Her list of accomplishments is lengthy. She is a huge blessing to being a supportive pastor to the Bray-Doyle Public Schools.

In Marlow, she stays busy with church services and Bible Study programs twice a week. I asked her how many commentaries she studies and different Bible translations for our Bible Studies, as I know from attending, she digs deep into knowing what each verse and even each word means. Some word meanings are hard to translate from the original writings.

Pastor Terra said she usually compares three to five commentaries. Pastor Terra also asks of those attending what their different translations Bibles say or some read what they find in their commentaries.

Sisco has been an ordained pastor since March 6, 2005, ordained by the West Tennessee Presbytery. She has served Cumberland Presbyterian in several positions over the years. Before ordination, she served as youth director/youth pastor for five years. As an ordained pastor, in Norris City, IL, at the United Cumberland Presbyterian Church for six years, Sugar Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Marion, KY, for four years, and at Marion, IL, Cumberland Presbyterian Mission for one year before being called by the Marlow Cumberland Presbyterian Church.

She also has served at church camp/retreats in TN, IL, and KY, with one year taking on the role of Jr. High Camp director. As a pastor, serving on regional and state boards and committees is something she accepts. Those have included North Central Presbytery, Covenant Presbytery, and Red River Presbytery (our area OK and TX), as well as the General Assembly of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church (National and International). She has been a moderator of both the North Central Presbytery and Red River Presbytery.

Currently, she is serving on a joint committee of Unified Committee of Social Theological Concerns for our denomination of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in America. She is chair of the subcommittee for baptismal beliefs of both. Depending on committee member workloads, they meet either by Zoom or in person in Memphis, TN, or Huntsville, AL, a few times a year.

I asked Pastor Terra about how many funerals and weddings she handles on average per month. Her answer, "Funerals and weddings vary throughout the year. I had two funerals in one day and a funeral the very next morning, which resulted in three funerals within a 24-hour period. Last fall, I had three weddings in a 30-day period with one of those weddings being close to Memphis, TN," she said. "I am so blessed to serve in any capacity that the Lord leads me!"

We all are blessed to have Pastor Terra Sisco, and her spirit that overflows to all around her. And I LOVE her saying "WOW GOD." I love my church family, Pastor Terra and living in small town Marlow, OK. U.S.A.

OPA Award Badge
OPA Award Badge
OPA Award Badge