My Tallowood Story

In late summer of 2019, after my mom had recently passed and my husband Daniel was laid off from his “dream job”, his anxiety was higher than ever, and my bottled-up grief began spilling all over our marriage. One day, I finally had enough, knowing in the back of my mind the studio I worked for would soon close its doors and I would have to find a different position. In frustration and exhaustion, I visited LinkedIn and clicked on the first job opening and submitted my résumé to Tallowood Baptist Church.


Later in the evening, Daniel and I apologized to one another, and we spoke about how God would provide. We decided I would continue working part-time in photography and discussed how we knew God would come through.


Then the phone call came.


A woman named Amy, with a kind voice called and mentioned the Tallowood Baptist Church Music Ministry received my résumé and they would like to set up an interview. Stunned and confused of my previous actions the day before, I agreed and set up a time.


A couple of days later, on August 26, 2019, I went in for my first interview in over fifteen years. A petite, young lady named Kelsey with long, beautiful locks sat at the receptionist desk and told me to have a seat. Soon, a tall, middle-aged man with salt and pepper hair named Carlos came to retrieve me. We joined a professionally driven woman named Betsy in a conference room and with his ear-to-ear smile, Carlos proceeded to tell me I was interviewing to be his Administrative Assistant. After some time of getting to know one another, he left and brought in an army of other people.


The following people began pouring into the interview room. Denny, a short and spunky soul, whose position needed to be filled, an assistant with fashionably squeaky shoes named Sarah, behind her followed Debbie, determined and carrying a ledger and pen. Finally, a laid-back gentleman named Sky, who sat back and did not say a single word during the entirety of my interview.


Thirty minutes turned into an hour and the time ticked by while laughs grew more frequently. Finally, everyone from the Music Ministry departed. Unbeknownst to me, Carlos came in and slipped a piece of paper to Betsy. After a little over an hour, Betsy asked to speak to me in her office. Somewhere during the interview, I had mentioned I had a strange love for post-it notes, so from her stack of paperwork she pulled out a post-it note.


She said, “Here, I would like you to have this.”


In Carlos’ handwriting the simple statement said, "I like her.”


She offered me the position on the spot.


From one day to the next, I went from a fifteen-year career in photography to full-time ministry. I did not have a clue what I was in for, and neither did the Music Ministry Staff.


Six months into my start date, COVID reared its ugly head.


But, “Sundays keep coming”, so our essential work life gave way to organizing pranks, deliberating over local coffeeshops and eateries, judge those who “love” Starbucks, and even witness one of our own enjoy a seven-month “vacation” after she resigned and returned to unpack her things.


Over the last three years, we shared ministry lunches and delighted in coffee dates. A few of us wrote books and even composed new songs. Some sat as students in seminary and some even taught the courses. We shared the Gospel from Tallowood all the way to the heart of Italy.


This little family of five started with people who were not ready for my hearty personality, loud demeanor, and extremely extroverted nature, but they hung in there (just ask to take a peek at Sarah Lattimer’s journal).


But today, as I write this, on August 18, 2022, I am saddened to confess this was my last day at Tallowood Baptist Church as the Administrative Assistant to Carlos Ichter.


As cliché as this may sound, this has been the most difficult decision in my adult life. This decision was not taken lightly, prayed for over weeks, and for the first time in my life, had my emotions at an all-time high.


What a joy it has been to serve with the Music Ministry. It has also been my upmost pleasure to serve alongside everyone at Tallowood as well. You all have played such a significant role in my life, and I will forever be grateful.



What started in angst and grief, God graciously orchestrated into healing and restoration. Please know, I thank God daily for placing you all beside me and helping Daniel and I through a very tough season. One which I am unsure we could have done alone. While I cannot see the future, or like Debbie Barker says, “See the blueprint”, I know our beautiful season together will be one I reflect on frequently and be a constant reminder of what love looks like.


Joyfully His,

Carolyn