Today I celebrated Sue Fitzgerald! She is one of my favorite people. I first got to know Sue in 2005, when she wrote her story for Courage and Hope: The Stories of Ten Baptist Women Ministers, a book I co-edited with my husband. Over the years I have talked numerous times with her on phone, and I finally met her a few years ago.

Last March she invited me to her home in Mars Hill, North Carolina. That afternoon she drove me on the mountain roads, showed me her favorite scenic views, and cooked me a scrumptious dinner. That evening I sat in one of rocking chairs and talked with her late into the night.

All of my conversations with Sue have been sacred for me. Her calm spirit, her loving questions and concern, and her sense of peace lifts me up, gives me hope, encourages me in my work. And today I celebrate her – on this her 81st birthday! Happy birthday, Sue!

Pam Durso is executive director of Baptist Women in Ministry, Atlanta, Georgia.