Our dear friend and co-worker Mary Jean Preece is stepping down after almost 11 years of service as our Accountant and Administrator. We are so very thankful for her help as Stoneworks has grown from having two partners to now having over 12. We praise God for Mary Jean, her sense of humor, her professionalism and her dedication to our partners. Most people were unaware of the many hours MJ gave in service to our partners. She laid down her life for the work God has called us to do. She served in unseen ways and I know the Lord will reward her for it.
When we learned that MJ would step down, we faced a situation common to many organizations, and we determined to go through this transition well. We did not want to ‘hunt’ for a new accountant, a ‘new hire’. We wanted to see whom the Lord is setting as a ‘Living Stone’ with us. So, we quietly put out the word that we had a need. Quite quickly, Cheryl Fortson was mentioned. I sent her a short email describing what was needed, and she quickly replied that this was an answer to her prayers! A few days before, she had been talking with a friend about her desire to use her skills to support Christian work. So, within a matter of days we discerned together that the Lord is calling Cheryl to join the Stoneworks family.
There is great strength in knowing that God has put us in place. And there is a lesson for us all: God may have something just around the corner, something we can’t imagine, that will not only fulfill the desires of our hearts but also bless others he puts in our path.
And so, we welcome Cheryl with thanksgiving in our hearts. Here is a little about her —
Cheryl lives in Athens, GA and works as property manager/bookkeeper for the owner of a large portfolio of commercial real estate properties. She has worked in the accounting field all her life – mostly in the area of real estate but has also managed the financial department of a local group of Apple retail stores. For many years she served as treasurer and overnight volunteer for The Bigger Vision, a shelter for the homeless.
Cheryl attends St. James United Methodist Church and helps with the administrative tasks in the music department where her dear friend, Bryan Shaw, serves as the Minister of Music. She & Bryan went on a Stoneworks mission trip to Estonia in 2015 where they served the children at Camp Gideon with music, fun & games. Cheryl has three sons – Alex 26, Ty 23 & Chase 20.
Cheryl says that her personal goal is to continue to grow in her relationship with the Lord and to purposefully use the talents He has given her to further the Kingdom.
One of her favorite verses is Isaiah 26:3: You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.