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.