At The First Methodist Church of Fort Worth Foundation we have many women who have funded, championed, and carried our vision over the years. They have been women committed to the church and the city, who have offered their resources and skills to the service of both. We want to honor and celebrate their years of service to the Foundation, church, and greater community – looking to the past, present, and future.
Our Founding Mothers
Looking to the past, it is impossible to talk about our history and establishment without talking about Mrs. “Bess” Broderick and her mother Ella Smith. In the early years of the Foundation, they gave the single largest donation in our history, a gift bestowed by Bess upon the death of her mother.
Years later another woman, by the name of Blanche Owens Ballard, would also leave a legacy of generosity, not just for the Foundation but for Fort Worth. She gave the second largest gift in the Foundation’s history, now known as the Blanche Owens Ballard Fund, alongside her many donations to other local organizations like the Salvation Army and Cooks Children's Hospital.
Fran Stuart gave the foundation one of its most generous Charitable Remainder Unitrust gifts. She had met her husband through the Coworkers Class in 1945 and they built a successful business together. With their children, Fran and her husband were active members of the church through music.
Sue Sumner and her husband George believed Confirmation to be one of the most important events in a young person’s life. So, together they made a significant gift to ensure Confirmation education continued to be done well in the church.
Establishing a Legacy
Helen W. Watt was the first female officer and director of the Foundation. She was a long-time member of our church and was not only dedicated to soliciting gifts for the Foundation but was invested in mentoring the next generation of altruistic Foundation supporters. In 2006 the Helen W. Watt Society was created to reflect her legacy, to continue to honor the generosity and vision of others.
Read more about the Helen Watt Society HERE.
A Bright Future
The Foundation Board is currently home to six dynamic, skilled, and passionate women. When asked about serving on the Foundation they each expressed gratitude and a heart for their beloved church. It’s hard to imagine where we would be without these amazing leaders.
Lou Ann Blaylock holds the distinction of being the first female president of the Foundation. She has a background in corporate relations with a concentration in media, community employee and investor relations with a Fortune 500 company. For the past nearly 20 years, she has managed and invested with a family office. Currently, she is was member of the Church Council and Church Building committees. She has served on Church SPRC and Finance committees. Lou Ann is very active in the community by serving with the All Church Home, Gill Children’s Services, the Fort Worth Symphony and the Fort Worth Lecture Foundation. She is currently a member of the Foundation Board of Directors.
“The generosity of our church members is what created and continues the Foundation’s support for our church.” - Lou Ann Blaylock
Pat Hayward Petrushka has been an integral member of Fort Worth’s society for almost her entire life. She has indebted herself to the community that she loves. One particular passion within the community is the Girls Service League, which she served as chairwoman. A huge part of her community dedication belongs to our church. She became a member in 1958 and joined the Foundation Board in 2014. She currently serves as our Corporate Secretary.
Beverlee Herd, and her husband Dr. Jim Herd have been members of our church since 1968. She has a heart to serve and volunteer at the national, state, and local level. Her attention focused on medical, family, and children’s issues she has spent many years teaching nursing and volunteering in the Sunday School and youth department. Beverlee currently serves on the Foundation Board and Church Board of Stewards.
“We pay tribute to those who have gone before us in building the Foundation and we look to you and future congregations to continue this great Legacy of Love, Compassion, and Devotion.” - Beverlee Herd
Michelle Holloway, graduate of SMU and SMU law school, brings with her a passion for law. She practiced with Casualty Insurance Company before devoting her time to raising her children. Her family have been members at our church for over 20 years. She loves to serve in the Children's Ministry, specifically with VBS.
Ashley Johnson is the Foundation’s Vice President. Her and her husband, David joined our church in 2008, and she has served as VBS chairwoman and been active in the Children’s Department. As a former prosecutor in Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office and current Municipal Court Judge for the City of Arlington, Ashley brings with her years of knowledge and expertise.
“Many women came before us to lay the groundwork of our Foundation. It is hard to fathom how much their legacy has contributed to a vibrant and growing Foundation.” - Ashley Johnson
Alicia Lindsey grew up in our Church and became a third-generation member following confirmation. After graduating from The University of Texas, she worked as a CPA for a large firm and is now a sole practitioner. She has served on the Long-Range Planning Committee for Youth, the Advisory Board, the Preschool Registration Committee and as an officer for her Sunday School class within our church and is otherwise very active in the Fort Worth community. She and her husband, Steve, have enjoyed serving their church.
“Because of the foresight of those that formed the Foundation, and those that have since contributed to it, our Church enjoys ongoing support for their facilities and ministries. We are grateful for the generosity of the congregation. We could not accomplish our goals without your support.” Alicia Lindsey
We believe we are better together, and the future looks bright with these capable and generous women at the forefront!
Women of the Foundation Gallery - Coming Soon!