Minister honored for prudent living
July 4, 2018 Times and Democrat article (reprinted with permission)
Article by DIONNE GLEATON T&D Staff Writer
"The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going." - Proverbs 14:15.
St. Matthews resident Betty Green has used that Bible verse as her testimony of service to God and the community.
A minister, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, Green's open heart and hand have been blessings to those who have crossed her path.
Whether she is working in a soup kitchen in one of her volunteer activities, or sharing words of wisdom with her family or church members about everything from financial management to disaster preparedness, Green believes in providing for the future while helping others.
Green's penchant for being wise and cautious in practical matters earned her designation as the exemplification of prudence as part of the Orangeburg County Community of Character initiative.
"I couldn't say a word. I was very much surprised, but honored, too," she said of the recognition.
Green has served as a longtime hostess at Orangeburg's Church of the Redeemer, where she has also worked in the soup kitchen. "Mother Green," as she is called, always stands ready to lend an encouraging word to help someone along the way.
How does she exhibit prudence?
"I'm always kind of looking toward not just for today, but for tomorrow if God permits us to be at that place. Plan to not just have enough for today, but look down the road. Try to be wise enough to look and see what will take place," Green said.
She added, "With children, you're always trying to teach them what to do and kind of how to do. You've done that, and now that I see it in my own children's life, I just say, 'Thank God I've seen what has taken place.' I try to be wise in my decision making and just a way of life."
Green said she doesn't live beyond her means, tries to build meaningful relationships with people and is always willing to help where she is needed.
"I love what I do and I do what I love. I love the people," she said, noting that she learned the value of prudent living from her parents.
"I guess it was the way I was reared. When you come from little, you learn to be thankful and grateful for what you have. I was always taught to not ever spend your last. Always have a little something for a rainy day. And sometimes days are raining more now than others," she said.
"I try to teach others what I have learned in my own life, but I'm still learning in my own life," Green said. "Sometimes you call it frugal, but wise is what I try to be."
She doesn't mind sharing life lessons with others, saying she considers it a mandate from God.
"My thing is I try to share with others because the knowledge is not just for you, but somebody else. If I see there's a sale, I'm going to tell somebody else. Buy wisely today so if you need something tomorrow, you already have it. And that's the way I live," Green said, noting that she's taught her children the same thing.
She said she regards her own interests with care, with community service being one of her main interests.
"You try to give a hand where you can, but you don't ever exalt yourself. You let others do that. If there's a need and God has blessed me to be able to help meet that need, then I try to meet that need. Whatever you do, do it discreetly and not to be seen or heard, but so that God can get the glory," Green said.
Being prudent doesn't mean mistakes won't be made from time to time, she said.
"But it's not the mistake; it's what you do with it afterward. I've talked to a lot of people in a lot of areas, and sometimes just being a listener (is helpful). You don't have to say a word. People have so many problems, and everybody needs somebody to talk to," Green said. "So as I've lived this life, I've had many daughters that I didn't birth, but I'm grateful that I can take on that and go from there."
"I'm a member of a wonderful church that started that. So I had a good foundation," she said, noting that she was brought up in Bethany Full Gospel Church of Orangeburg.
"With things that I've learned, I have always been able to provide through the church to teach others how to do and when to do it. Sometimes I'm the kind of 'look to' person, and people will say, 'If there's a sale, Minister Green knows!' I'm a coupon shopper so I'm wise with that. My daughters all did the same things. They learned; we did it together," Green said.
Aside from frugal shopping, she doesn't mind using her cooking skills at church and beyond to bring people together, Green said.
She's disciplined and that's part of her prudence, too, she noted.
"I love to cook, and I cook a lot. Even at the church functions, I'm the one that cooks because it breaks down walls. It breaks down barriers when you can get people together," Green said. "It's good that brethren dwell together in the spirit of unity."
She said she thinks the Orangeburg County Community of Character is a "great" program that rightfully highlights those who demonstrate good character within the community. She said she wants her own life to be an example of that.
"You got to build everything around God. Without the love of God, you can't do none of these things," Green said. "And it takes time because he works on you, but then you gotta want to be worked on. He wants us to be available, and I just want my life to be lived for God."