Jacksonville First United Methodist Church’s children’s director Stacie Johnson loves her job because she has the opportunity every day to teach children about God.

“I guide the children’s walk with God by creating different opportunities such as Sunday school classes, children’s church, Wednesday afternoon programs and events they can attend to learn about God,” she said. “A lot of these kids have been a part of my life since they were little and in the nursery, so it’s been a great pleasure to watch them grow up and to watch them learn about God and grow their relationship with Him.”

Stacie explained that she believes she has the best job in the world.

“I get to be creative, think outside the box, and be a part of something bigger than myself -- the spiritual lives of so many kids,” she said. “I get the opportunity to reach children during the week through our daycare, Kids 1st,, and our community outreach programs, Neighbor2Neighbor and CrossTown, and our children on Sunday mornings. I’m grateful to be a part of the lives of all these kids. My life is changed because of them.”

In her spare time, Stacie likes to scrapbook. For a while now, her subjects have been mostly her husband, Matt, and their dogs, Rusty and Riley. Soon though, she’ll have another subject. She and Matt, are adopting a 2-year-old girl from China.

She doesn’t know exactly when their daughter will arrive, but said it won’t be long now. Her room is almost ready and they are working on getting all the items needed for a little one.

The Johnsons have a video of their daughter, sent to them by the adoption agency, which they “watch over and over.”

Stacie was born in Moody and graduated from Moody High School. She received a business management degree from Jacksonville State University in 2007. She has worked at the First United Methodist Church since 2006. She’s been children’s director there since 2009.

Stacie’s parents, Bob and Barbara Hill, moved to Jacksonville at the end of the summer. Her sister, Jean, lives in Birmingham.

Stacie confessed that when it comes to cooking, she really only likes to bake. Matt, who works at Honda, is the main chef at their house.

“As far as the everyday cooking, he does most of it,” she said. “I love to eat what he cooks, so it works out great.”

She learned to cook by watching her parents and her grandmother, Gran-Gran (the late Peggy Hill). It was Gran-Gran who installed in Stacie a love for cooking.

 (Contact Margaret at pollya922@gmailcom)

RECIPES

GRAN-GRAN’S POUND CAKE

8 oz. cream cheese

3 sticks butter

3 cups sugar

Dash of salt

1 tsp. vanilla

6 large eggs

3 cups plain flour

   Let cream cheese and butter soften, then beat together. Add sugar slowly and beat until high and fluffy. Add salt and vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift flour and add small amount at a time. Beat well, and pour in greased and floured pan. Bake at 300o for 1 ½ hours.