Debbie Scott and her husband David are faithful members of St. Martin’s Lutheran Church in Sugar Land, TX. They met in the church choir back in 1981 when the church was still located in the Sharpstown area of Houston. That property was sold and the new facility was set in the ever-expanding Houston suburbs to be more accessible to new neighborhoods. The church is now 60 years old, although the congregation has only worshiped in their new building since 2004. Debbie counts herself blessed to have been on the committee that envisioned the new building and how it would uniquely serve its members.
The current sanctuary at St. Martin’s is warm and inviting, with a large narthex that mirrors the widest area inside that sanctuary. Comfortable chairs in groupings invite members to linger in fellowship and conversation. A generous library with a meeting area is positioned close to the narthex for easy access. The coffee bar is the center of the complex, and classrooms and offices beyond reflect the warm and well-lit atmosphere of a modern facility.
Debbie’s contributions to the church design’s objectives are not where her interest stopped—it is what’s inside the library that marks one of her legacies to the church. As a technical writer in her work life at Chevron, she developed a healthy respect for data bases, organization of materials, and the value of research materials. It was with that knowledge base that she began to acquire, catalogue, and build a church library that would rival private and some public collections as well. The collection includes resources for children, young readers, adults, and serious scholars.
Not all the approximately 5,000 books, DVDs, and CDs are religious, but most address a spiritual need of some kind. Her goal is to ensure that the interest and needs of the congregation and others are met through the wide range of media in the library. Not only are they cataloged, but they are periodically “weeded” to maintain a fresh and vital collection that continually draws interest. As a volunteer libriarian, she provides displays in the narthex, participates in the congregation’s book club, and looks for ways to generate interest in the services the library provides. Debbie says, “It would be wonderful if everyone who uses our facilities checked out resources from the library, but that’s not realistic. I want to have the right resource for the right person at the right time, whether that be a reference book to answer a difficult Bible question, a self-help book to provide advice and counsel, or an inspirational biography or novel for uplifting entertainment.”
Although Debbie has had other leaders’ support for the library throughout the years, she hopes the Lord is planting seeds for others to rise up and carry the torch in the future–promoting the library services for the next generation at St. Martin’s. She would love to know that books and the world they open will always be there for the congregation. She would also challenge other congregations to start or refurbish their libraries. “If you have a love of books, you can learn the mechanics of managing a library. Start small, perhaps with a collection of religious books for children. That’s the most heavily used section at St. Martin’s.” She would be happy to consult with others who are interested in this ministry.
She knows first-hand about a love for Christ, his Church, and his people through her parents. Her father, L. G. Wehman was a pastor in the Southwest Texas Synod and has been an inspiration, modeling service to God’s work. Debbie worked with her mother, Jerry, to set up a library in their previous congregation. L.G. and Jerry now live near Orlando, Florida and attend a small church there. Debbie and her husband David, a retired chemical engineer, raised two children, Bethany and Jake, at St. Martin’s. Bethany has carried her mother’s love of books into a career as coordinator of digital projects at the University of Houston Library. Jake continues the musical tradition by playing bass guitar for special church services.
David’s talents have led him to harmonizing in barbershop and gospel quartets for fun. Debbie and David both attend conferences and conventions of their personal interest now that they are retired. Despite a retirement varied in interests and activity, their hearts are centered in the church and their 33-year love for St. Martin’s is evident!
The Scotts, like other congregation members of St. Martin’s, challenge themselves in new ways of showing God’s love to others. We say thank you to the Scotts and other congregation members who leave many legacies of caring at their home church.