Next month marks the beginning of Stacey Atkins’ 17th year as Financial Secretary here at Swift Creek Baptist Church. Stacey and her husband Walter have been a part of Swift Creek since the late 1990’s.
As with most things in life, Stacey’s journey to working in ministry was not a straight line. She worked in the corporate world for many years and in multiple positions before God placed her at Swift Creek. She believes each of those positions was meant to serve a specific purpose in preparing her for all the hats she wears now.
“For me, it’s a different approach to every day when you work in the ministry than when I worked outside of the ministry. I don’t feel like I’m working for ‘the man’, I’m working for God.” In fact, Stacey’s favorite verse is Colossians 3:23 which says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.”
Stacey admits that she is a task-oriented person, but working in this job she quickly realized that people are the priority. “Sometimes somebody comes to my door, and they need to be loved on. If you have to stay late and make it happen then you do, but it doesn’t happen every day…so it’s worth it. I want people to walk away from here knowing that they matter.”
Stacey says for her, life is about not missing those important moments. “Losing both my parents, it gives you a different perspective when you look back on what’s really important. And at the end of the day, it’s people.”
Born and raised in Richmond, Stacey spent her childhood mostly in the city. “All we had were a couple of softballs, bats and gloves and a little old rickety bike. We didn’t have a lot but we had a lot of fun.” When she was 17 years old she met her husband riding through his Richmond neighborhood on her brand new red Schwinn bike. Walter stopped her to complement her new bike, and the next day he went out and got himself one. Even today, one of their favorite pastimes as a couple is mountain biking through Pocahontas State Park.
In general, Stacey much prefers to be outdoors making memories with family and friends. She has a love for fishing, beach combing, kayaking, and (of course!) bike riding.