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Judy Gay knew that she wanted to be a pastor when she grew up – and actually had that intent printed in her high school yearbook. However, it would be many years before that dream came to fruition. Love and life filled the many intervening years. In the early 1960s she met and married her husband, Leonard. Together they had four children. Their oldest daughter died at the age of 19. Today their surviving children range in age from 39 to 47. Judy and her husband also are blessed with 6 grandchildren – granddaughters aged 1 and 15 and grandsons aged 7, 8, 9, and 10. Their son and his family live in Issaquah, their youngest daughter and her family reside in  Maple Valley and their other daughter and her family just bought a house in Arnold, Maryland.

Judy began her career in the field of education. Initially she taught swimming and water safety skills to children with disabilities aged 3 to 21. She has also taught children with identified learning disabilities and those who are blind or who have visual impairments. After Judy earned her doctorate in Educational Leadership she moved into school administration – but the role wasn’t a good fit for her.

It was at that point that she began her seminary studies at Fuller’s extension campus in Seattle. After graduating with a Masters of Divinity in 2001, she entered a yearlong residency position as a chaplain at Harborview Medical Center. She was then called as interim pastor to Good Shepherd Baptist Church in Lynnwood. After six months she left that position to serve as interim at Fremont Baptist

That decision was to change her life. Judy has been the pastor at Fremont Baptist Church in Seattle for the past 10½ years. While her primary ministry there is to the congregation, she has a considerable outreach to the homeless population in the area. Last year, thanks to the generosity of the congregation, she, on their behalf, interacted with 122 different people offering funds, food, and a listening ear. Judy has also been blessed to travel to  Haiti with the Evergreen Mission team both in 2012 and 2014.

Judy is a triathlete. Over the past 6 years she has completed numerous sprint triathlons. This past summer she finished her first Olympic Triathlon (swim 1 mile, bike 24 miles and run walk 6.2 miles) in 5 hours 1 minute and 14 seconds. She would have reached her goal of 5 hours if she hadn’t stopped to kiss her two youngest grandchildren before she had crossed the finish line. This summer she will strive to improve on her time. Obviously family and training fill most of her time when she is not at work.