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A Village Staffer’s Return on Investment

June 1, 2014

Terry Hayes

Terry Hayes, Data Entry Specialist in the Resource Development department at Advent Christian Village, began working at ACV last September. However, her relationship with the Village did not begin at that time. Terry has a long history with ACV which includes times she’s ministered to and received ministry from our nursing home.

Terry grew up in Live Oak. She attended Suwanee County schools and graduated from Suwannee County High School. A youth group activity in which she took part regularly was traveling to Dowling Park to visit with the residents of the nursing home at the J. Ralph Smith Health Center, now Smith Riverview Apartments. Terry would read the Bible to and pray with residents as well as eat in the cafeteria. She loved the Village and it made a big impression on her.

In 1985, Terry accepted an invitation from a friend to play guitar at a revival service at Tabernacle Baptist Church in Live Oak. The pastor then was Thomas Earl Goddard, a widower with one son. Earl joined Terry and her friend for supper at Pizza Hut after the revival service and, afterward, he asked Terry out on a date. Not long after, Terry and Earl were married.

Soon after his marriage to Terry, Earl stopped pastoring at Tabernacle Baptist. He worked full time as an insurance salesman for Liberty National and traveled, filling the pulpits of churches all over. For a few years at the end of the 80s, Terry and Earl traveled the U.S., raising funds so that they could become full-time missionaries. They were able to spend a couple of years in Venezuela in the early 90s.

After returning to the States, the couple planted Hispanic churches in Florida for a few years.

It was during the 90s that Terry first began to notice gaps in Earl’s memory and that he was having trouble figuring things out. When Earl’s coworker called Terry to express concern because Earl was now having trouble filling out forms that he’d been filling out with no problem for years—she knew something was definitely wrong. Earl was suffering from dementia.

Terry quit her job in order to take care of Earl full time in the early 2000s. She stayed home with him for seven to eight years before it was necessary for Earl to be admitted into a skilled nursing facility. Terry brought Earl to Good Samaritan Center (GSC), the nursing home at ACV that had replaced the one at the J. Ralph Smith Health Center.

Terry says that the day she left Earl at GSC for the first time—June 4, 2009—was the hardest day of her life. She returned to GSC every day to help care for her husband on Camellia Court. Earl declined quickly and passed in August 2010.

After Earl’s death, Terry traveled for a while. After returning home, she became more acquainted with Gerald Ray Hayes, a man at her church whose wife had been ill at the same time as Earl. His wife had also died and Ray and Terry developed a courtship. Six months later, on Nov. 11, 2011, the two were wed.

Ray, owner of Hayes Produce, from whence Good Samaritan Center and the Village Grocer get their produce, used to have a store on Hwy. 90 in Live Oak.

It was Terry’s sister that noticed the Data Entry opening advertisement at the Village in September 2013. She called Terry and suggested that she apply. After a short interview process, Terry was hired.

Now, Terry is directly involved in the ministry that helped her care for her first husband during the last year of his life. She fits in well at the Village and is an outstanding employee. Her responsibilities include recording gifts and mailing receipts and thank you letters to those who give to Advent Christian Village. It is because of those donations to its benevolent ministry that ACV has been able to help so many people over the past 100 years. That ministry is why Advent Christian Village exists and is also able to extend a compassionate hand to those like Terry, Earl and Ray.

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