Golden Gate Employee Honored
Mary Harmon Receives Sheriff’s Office Certificate of Commendation
Golden Gate Seminary Employee Honored
“It’s been a real challenge and a blessing,” said Mary Harmon as she recalled her ongoing ministry to share the gospel with women who are incarcerated in the Solano County area of Northern California. Harmon was honored with a Sheriff’s Office Certificate of Commendation in April as a volunteer leader of bible studies for incarcerated women since 1987. She is the administrative assistant in the Office of Academic Affairs at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary.
Preparing and leading bible studies for 8-12 women for over 20 years, Harmon has seen many positive responses to the gospel. “The women are mostly in for drugs or alcohol,” she said, “and range in age from 19 to 35 years, but are sometimes in their 50s and 60s, and they are often mothers.” The average stay is 4-6 weeks, and sometimes she sees people who return more than once. “It’s just another chance to share the gospel, and another chance to remind them He can change lives.”
In response to the question of why this ministry, Harmon answered, “It wasn’t my choice. I knew someone who was in jail and I called the chaplain about this person. He invited me to a nondenominational fellowship ministry retreat and at the conclusion he asked me if I’d like to ‘pick fruit.’ After prayer, I said yes.”
Harmon is dedicated to her ministry, and makes a point of reminding the women that “He can change lives.” Some of the women write prayer requests on 3x5 cards, and she prays for them. She always works the gospel into the lessons, which have topics such as temptation, trust, anger, worry, the prodigal son, the fall in the garden, “basic things they struggle with.”
Harmon has been a Golden Gate employee since 2000. Commenting on Harmon’s award, Michael Martin, Academic Dean said, “It doesn’t surprise me about the County recognizing Mary…her gentle spirit and generous heart are expressed in all she does.”