- 1907 - Born
Mabel Willows graduated from the United Church Training School in 1937. In 1938 she began her work for the Woman’s Missionary Society as matron of the Marjorie Herridge School Home for girls from out-of town attending high school in New Liskeard, Ontario. Before the end of the year she was called to the pastoral charge of Malartic in north-western Quebec, and continued to serve pastoral charges in Western and Central Canada until her retirement in 1969. She served the United Church for thirty years, for a few years as a Woman Worker, and then as a Deaconess, after her designation in 1943. She died on March 6, 1980 in Carleton Place, where she had been living since retirement.
One of the churches she served was in Flinton, Ontario. Janice Andrew, is still a member of the pastoral charge, although the church at Flinton closed in 2012; She shared this reflection:
Mabel came to our church July 1, 1962. She was our first female minister, I remember people were very unsure about her because she was a woman. She had a great influence on my life, she started CGIT, and an Explorers group. She was the minister that confirmed me along with many others. She worked with the young people in the church. She started a choir. She also had us take turns doing the sermon, she would write it and we would read it on Sunday during service. I remember my brother was short, she put a stool in pulpit so he could be seen over the pulpit. She stayed until 1965.She was well liked in our church community and very fondly remembered by many.
This profile was written by Caryn Douglas, February 2013, based on biographical information in the Association of Professional Church Workers 1988 Newsletter, and email correspondence.