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Ashro Woman: Rev. Dr. Ellen

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Meet Ashro Woman of the Week, Rev. Dr. Ellen from North Baldwin, NY

This determined woman of faith is a retired nurse practitioner, a First Lady AND Assistant Pastor to her husband. Through her multiple ministries, Rev. Dr. Ellen works diligently to address the physical, mental, and spiritual needs of women and those in her local, national and world community.

Her hard-won master’s degree and doctorate took 10 years of part-time schooling as she juggled the roles of full-time nurse, mother of two, and helpmate to her husband. During that challenging season, Ellen and her family also suffered a house fire that totally destroyed their home, leaving them homeless.

Did this stop them? Absolutely not! As Rev. Dr. Ellen likes to say, “Walk in the destiny of which God has purposed for your life.” This is faith unwavering.

woman in a black dress and a multicolored shawl

 


Name

Rev. Dr. Ellen Canty McEachern
Which city do you live?
North Baldwin
Which state do you live?
NY
How would you describe the Ashro woman? How do you embody her?
An Ashro woman is a woman who is not afraid of creating & wearing her own unique style. She is a Trend setter, who steps on the seen as a fashion maven, where all eyes turn towards her when she enters the room!
How long have you been an Ashro customer?
25 Plus years
What do you do for a living? What do you like most about it? What don’t you like?
I am a retired Nurse Practitioner. I am an Itinerant Elder of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, where I serve as the Assistant Pastor to my husband. I am First Lady, Advisor to the Women’s Missionary Society, and to Our Women’s Ministry. I am the Facilitator of “Gathering of Sisters” (a weekly gathering of the women of the church), I am the Spiritual Advisor & Facilitator of “Led By The Spirit Ministry, which is a caring, sharing & supportive ministry addressing the spiritual & mental health needs of others. I am also a Clinically Trained Chaplain.
How do you spend your free time?
I spend my free time reading the word of God and reading other books on nutrition and healing our bodies. Going to my local beach & sitting on the boardwalk basking in the sun, taking in the scent of the ocean, watching the seagulls, seeing the ocean waves erupt into a crescendo of music as it approaches the banks of the sand. I also enjoy meditating to soaking music and using aromatherapy for healing & meditation. at my local beach basking in the sun, and taking in the awesome works of nature which the Lord so richly provides. I also enjoy meditating to soaking music & using aromatherapy for healing & meditation.
What small thing makes you happy?
What really makes me happy is to experience when someone has been blessed after praying, trusting, & believing in what the Lord has promised them. I also become happy seeing the sunrise & sunset, the full moon’s luminous shadow cast down an array of light in the wee hours of the night.
What is your best dish? Who do you make it for—and where do you typically serve it?
My absolute best dish is Oyster/Crab meat stuffing. I make it annually during Thanksgiving & Christmas for my family.
What has been your greatest struggle…and your greatest (or latest) triumph?
My greatest struggle was completing my Master of Divinity & Doctorate’s Degree in Ministry in Pastoral Care Counseling. As a mother of two & a full-time nurse, I attended classes on a part-time basis all while continuing to support my husband as a help mate as he Pastored the church. It took me 10 years to complete my studies. Additionally, halfway through the process we sustained a house fire which totally destroyed our home, rendering us homeless. But Praise Be To God…through it all I earned both a Master’s in Divinity & a Doctorates in Ministry from New Brunswick Theological Seminary, New Brunswick, N.J.
Who influenced you the most in your life. Why? And in what way?
My mother (who is now deceased). She was a God-fearing Christian Woman who loved the Lord. She raised 4 children as a single woman after a divorce. She instilled the power of prayer to her children & she taught us to have Faith & Trust in the Lord. She instilled the importance of education and hard work in the life of her children.
Do you volunteer or do charity work? Tell us about it!
Yes I volunteer with our church Food Pantry 2x weekly. We service 300 to 400 families weekly. We provide fresh produce, meats, fish, fruits & vegetables, lentils, soup and organic products. Our clientele is African American, West Indian, East Indian, Asian and Veterans.
Are you in a sorority? Or is anyone in your family in a sorority? If so, which one and what does it mean to you?
Yes, Delta Sigma Theta, Sorority Inc. My daughter, my two sisters & one niece is also a member of DST. To be a member of Delta Sigma Theta, Sorority Inc. Allows me the opportunity to give back to my community both locally, nationally & globally through public service & as an advocate to promote education, healthy eating & information on mental health and being a social activist.
What do you love about fashion and style?
What I love about fashion & style it evolves yet on occasions reaches back to update vintage fashions with a flair. This affords me an opportunity to make a fashion statement which reflects confidence, individuality & elegance. I enjoy being different & influencing others with my fashion choices.
Has anyone in particular influenced your style?
My mother who was a Beautician by trade and also a Fashionista in her own right! My proclivity for fashion style stems from my desire to dress fashionably, as while growing up in the South I watched my mother getting dressed. I would admire my mother getting dressed for church (when she wasn’t singing in the choir or ushering). Her attire consisted of a hat, gloves, below-the-knee skirt, a silk or chiffon blouse, purse & sling back 2 1/2 – 3 inch heels- she was about 5’8″ 140lbs with beautiful long, lean medium brown legs & of course in the years to I came, to now realize she looked very sophisticated & elegant!!). I always admired the way my mother dressed as she took the time to coordinate her pieces of clothing from the limited budget she had after taking care of her four children with a salary from working on the assembly line at a tie factory, doing domestic work in between & squeezing in time to moonlight on the weekends to do the hair of the neighborhood children (and of course, myself & two sisters patiently waited for our turn to get our hair hot curled with Dax hair pomade as we Prayed not to get our ears burned from the hot curler not intended, but my mother would be so tired & sleepy after doing everyone else’s hair). Even though My mother was a very tight budget, she dressed impeccably from head to toe & I always vowed when I grew up to be as sharply dressed as she was when I became an Adult!!
What occasions/events do you dress up for? (for example-do you often dress up for church, cultural events, charity events, going out, etc.) And how often do you typically get dressed up?
I usually dress up for church when I am not on the pulpit, which is 2X a month. I also dress up for church functions i.e., women’s conferences, our district & annual church conference meetings. Also during Sorority functions, Weddings, graduations, family reunions & during my vacations on the cruise ship!! And unfortunately during funerals. I am ready & prepared to dress up for any & all occasions, venues & celebrations. I LOVE DRESSING UP!!
How has your style evolved over time?
My style of fashion has evolved from classic to elegance & chic. I Pride myself in being a Fashion Enthusiast. I enjoy showing up at an event/venue and see my friends react with WOW in response to what I am wearing!! I don’t like being viewed as the “Typical Cookie Cutter 1st Lady… No Offense Intended!!
Do you wear hats? How often and what type of hat? Do you wear them to church? If so, be sure to share a pic of you in a hat with us!
YESS, I Love wearing hats to church. I wear them when I am not on the pulpit. Which is usually 2x a month.
Do you wear headwraps? How often? Where did you learn how to tie it? Share a pic of you in a headwrap with us!
I have worn a headwrap on occasions. I learned to wrap it from my Senegalese hair braider Aida. We have been friends for over 20 years.
Do you wear wigs? How often and what length or style? If so, be sure to share a pic of you in a wig with us!
OHH Yess I love wigs & weaves. My hair length varies depending on my mood. It can range from pixie to shoulder length. My hair color of choice is usually light brown, to chestnut brown to golden bronze. I usually wear them at least 6 times a year between getting my hair braided & during the winter to give my scalp & hair a break.
Are you a woman of faith? How does that faith affect your life? Please tell us more.
YES I Am A Woman of Faith. My Faith governs the way I live my life by the Golden Rule, “Do Unto Other As I Wish Them To Do Unto Me.” In My ministry I ascribe to the scripture found in Matthew 5:16 “Let your light shine before others, so that they see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (ESV-English Standard Version) I try to treat everyone as I would like to be treated by showing love, compassion, empathy and being non-judgmental. I live by the adage, “There But by the Grace of God go I.” I am in the process of forming My 501 C3 non for profit agency, which is entitled: HELP Faith Based Ministry- Healing, Empowering, Lifting, People. Which is adapted from my Doctoral Service Project with emphasis on Healing women with Mental Illness, Empowering women to be productive members of society, Feeding the hungry, Clothing the naked (primarily with gently used clothing & donated clothing so the women can go on job interviews with confidence & poise), & Creating Opportunity’s for women to become educated & employed. My target group is women newly released from incarceration in an effort to prevent recidivism.
Do you attend church? What church do you go to and what do you love most about it?
As a First Lady there are a lot of expectations placed upon my personhood. However I have learned after many years of crying, praying & fasting that only what I for Christ will last. After being in this role (since 1999 when my husband the Rev. Richard O. McEachern was assigned his 1st church in a two-car garage) that it is important for me to be my Authentic Self & I have not allowed anyone to determine for me how I should act, how I should dress or place any limits on my personhood. I am a humble servant of the most High God & I listen to His voice to lead, guide & direct my to do His Will & follow His Way. I consider it an Honor & a Privilege to have an opportunity to serve & minister to God’s People & to Be a Help mate to my Husband.
How are you passing along your faith traditions onto your children/grandchildren?
I pass along my faith traditions onto my children through the life I live, sharing my testimony of where God has brought me from a life of sin to a lie of seeking to live & witness for Christ. I taught my children how to Pray & to always remember that God Loves Them & there is nothing they could ever do that would prevent God from forgiving them & giving them another chance to get through their circumstances. I instilled in them that God Is A God Of A Second Chance & he will forgive them 70 X 7 in other words there is not a limit to how many times God forgives, we can not put a number to it!
Are you a First Lady or a Pastor?
Yes
If yes, tell us about it.
As a First Lady there are a lot of expectations placed upon my personhood. However, I have learned after many years of crying, praying & fasting that only what I do for Christ will last. After being in this role (since 1999 when my husband the Rev. Richard O. McEachern was assigned his 1st church in a two-car garage) that it is important for me to be my Authentic Self & I have not allowed anyone to determine for me how I should act, how I should dress or place any limits on my personhood. I am a humble servant of the most High God & I listen to His voice to lead, guide & direct my to do His Will & follow His Way. I consider it an Honor & a Privilege to have an opportunity to serve & minister to God’s People & to Be a Help mate to my Husband.
Your best advice?
My Best Advice To Other Ashro Women is to Be Your Authentic Self, Trust in God because you are “Fearfully & Wonderfully Made,” & Walk in the Destiny of which God has Purposed for your Life.” “Don’t make somebody a priority; that makes you an option.” Always remember to design your life on your terms.
What lessons has motherhood (or being a grandmother) taught you?
Motherhood has taught me that Patience Is Truly a Virtue and also the importance of being an “Active Listener.” I’ve found by combining patience & active listening in dialogue with my two adult children ages 28 & 31, I am able to connect better with them and I am more objective rather than subjective and judgmental. I view our relationship on a whole different level. One which respects their ideas & perspective which allows them to be more open with me in our conversations & world views.
Are you an Ashro Credit customer? If so, how has our credit helped you?
Yesss I have been an Ashro Credit Customer for over 25 years as you can see my balance is over $$$$!! I enjoy having the flexibility in paying on my account & I don’t mind receiving a call or gentle reminder that I forgot to make a payment. I am grateful to have the opportunity to strut the latest & elegant fashions with a pay later option!!
Do you have a memory to share of when you first heard about Ashro or when you received your first catalog?
I was thrilled & excited to be able to support a company with models look with me as they are a reflection of my sense of fashion!! My fashion sense!!
Woman in a white dress suit standing next to a statue.
Woman in a brown sweater and milti-colored top.
Woman in a blue and white hat with a blue and white dress
Woman in a pants suit standing next to a whiteboard.

Thanks for inspiring us, Rev. Dr. Ellen!

If you’d like a chance to be a future Ashro Woman of the Week, share your story with us — then watch your weekly Ashro emails to see if you’re featured next! Already filled out our questionnaire? Then you’re all set (you may see yourself featured in next week’s email)! Make sure to tell your friends and family to sign jim up for emails. We can’t wait to see you!


 

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