Conference honors Marlowe for 10 years of pro bono service
The North Georgia Conference recently honored Deborah Marlowe, a lay person who has given countless hours of pro bono legal counsel to the conference in the area of immigration, with a luncheon at Simpsonwood.
It has been more than ten years since the attorney -- and active United Methodist -- first provided invaluable assistance to then District Superintendent Jim Thompson who was helping a Korean pastor serve an immigrant community.
Since then, she has provided pro bono immigration counsel and services to seven of North Georgia's Korean pastors, seven Hispanic pastors, one Jamaican pastor, one Kenyan pastor and more than 50 family members of clergy.
Marlowe and her staff have worked with the office of Ministerial Services on issues regarding immigrant law and visa issues. Most recently she has served as a consultant to the Conference on the new Georgia immigrant law and changes in the federal government immigration policies.
The staff of New Church Development, Ministerial Services, Bishop Mike Watson and others were joined at the luncheon by several of the pastors she has helped with visas and green cards over the years. The group also honored Marlowe’s assistant of two years, Aileen Nguyen.
"It was a pleasure to be able to honor Deborah for her work. Her professional assistance has been incredibly valuable," said Dr. Jamie Jenkins, director of New Church Development. "And she has not charged the conference a dime."
Dr. Juan Quintanilla, director of Hispanic New Church Development, spoke at the gathering about how Marlowe helped him from the point of obtaining a visa all the way to becoming a U.S. citizen this year.
"I was truly overwhelmed by the wonderful luncheon," said Marlowe. "It was fabulous for me to see so many of the pastors and family members I have worked with over the past years. Hearing their stories was very meaningful to me."
Marlowe is a long-time member of Glenn Memorial UMC where she first became active as an undergraduate at Emory. Since then, she has not only been active in missions and leadership at Glenn, but she has served as chair of North Georgia's board of trustees, served as a delegate to SEJ Conference and led many workshops to help local churches.
"I am extremely proud of the way the United Methodist Church, and the North Georgia Conference in particular, reaches out to immigrant communities to spread the Gospel of Christ and to serve their needs," Marlowe said. "I look forward to continuing to work with the Conference as foreign national pastors are identified who can enrich these ministries in North Georgia."