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Reverend Dr. Mary Ivey

Reverend Mary Edith Ivey is an accomplished teacher and principal, government manager, and minister. Ivey was born in Vian, Oklahoma on February 9, 1937, the youngest of five children born to Boyd Henry, a barber and construction worker, and Lucy Henry, a domestic and homemaker. She prepared for a career as a teacher, earning her B.A. degree in 1959 from the College of Oklahoma. She taught for several years in Lawton, Oklahoma and then spent twelve years as an educator in the Kansas City, Missouri Public School System - serving as a teacher, student and family home-school coordinator, head teacher and assistant principal. She attended graduate school at the University of Missouri and earned her M.A. degree in education from the University of Oklahoma.

In 1972, Ivey changed careers, becoming the Director of Program Evaluations for the Model Cities Program in the District of Columbia. She next served as Chief of Mental Health Planning for the District with her final government position being Chief of Long Range Planning for the District, before retiring in 1994.

Ivey prepared for the ministry by obtaining her Master’s of Divinity degree in 2001 from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington and her Ph.D. in divinity from Howard University. She was ordained into the gospel ministry at the historic Shiloh Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. and at the First Missionary Baptist Church in her home town of Vian, Okalahoma. She served as an Associate Minister at Shiloh Baptist before founding her own church—the non-denominational Church of God’s Love. She is also the founder, President and CEO of Maine Avenue Ministries. Her dissertation for her Howard University divinity degree was published in 2006—entitled Care Giving and Love; Let’s Overcome Violence Everywhere. Ivey’s Maine Avenue Ministries, founded in 1999 in Washington, D.C. is an umbrella for the World of Spiritual Service Leadership Scholarship Awards Program, The Institute for Spirituality, Education and Health and Community Fellowship, the LOVE program (Let’s Overcome Violence Everywhere), and the Long Term Advocacy Program.

Ivey is a widow—her husband, Monteria Ivey, who was an economist, passed away in 2002. She resides in Washington, D.C.

Ivey was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 9, 2006.

Accession Number

A2006.137

Sex

Female

Interview Date

11/9/2006

Last Name

Ivey

Schools

The Douglas School

R. T. Coles Vocational/Junior High School

Oklahoma College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

University of Oklahoma

Wesley Theological Seminary

Howard University School of Divinity

First Name

Mary

Birth City, State, Country

Vian

HM ID

IVE01

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Oklahoma

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

I Love You.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

2/9/1937

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Greens (Collard)

Short Description

City government administrator, elementary school teacher, and minister Reverend Dr. Mary Ivey (1937 - ) founded her own church, Church of God's Love, and is president and CEO of Maine Avenue Ministries.

Employment

Maine Avenue Ministries

Church of God's Love

Dunbar School

Richardson Elementary School

Booker T. Washington School

Model Cities

Department of Human Services

Favorite Color

Powder Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Reverend Dr. Mary Ivey's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Mary Ivey lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Mary Ivey describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Mary Ivey describes her mother's education and employment

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Mary Ivey describes her mother's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Mary Ivey describes her maternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Mary Ivey describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. Mary Ivey describes her paternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Reverend Dr. Mary Ivey describes her father's employment and personality

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Reverend Dr. Mary Ivey describes her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Reverend Dr. Mary Ivey describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Reverend Dr. Mary Ivey describes her childhood home in Vian, Oklahoma

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Reverend Dr. Mary Ivey describes her childhood neighborhood

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Reverend Dr. Mary Ivey recalls growing up as the youngest of five children

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Reverend Dr. Mary Ivey describes the role of religion in her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Mary Ivey describes her early experiences of religion

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Mary Ivey describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Mary Ivey describes her family's holidays and entertainment

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Mary Ivey describes her elementary school education

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Mary Ivey describes her childhood mentors

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Mary Ivey describes her disposition as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Mary Ivey recalls briefly living in Kansas City, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. Mary Ivey describes her parents' employment in Kansas City

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Reverend Dr. Mary Ivey describes her high school experience

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Reverend Dr. Mary Ivey recalls the Oklahoma College for Women

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Reverend Dr. Mary Ivey recalls obtaining a teaching position in Kansas City, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Reverend Dr. Mary Ivey describes her career at Richardson Elementary School

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Reverend Dr. Mary Ivey recalls her promotions to assistant principal and principal

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Mary Ivey recalls joining the Model Cities program, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Mary Ivey recalls joining the Model Cities program, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Mary Ivey recalls the loss of funding for the Model Cities program

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Mary Ivey describes her career at the Department of Human Services

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Mary Ivey recalls meeting her husband at Shiloh Baptist Church

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Mary Ivey remembers retiring from government in 1994

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Mary Ivey describes her calling to the ministry

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. Mary Ivey describes the process of ordination

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Reverend Dr. Mary Ivey describes her first sermon

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Reverend Dr. Mary Ivey remembers the Howard University School of Divinity

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Reverend Dr. Mary Ivey talks about her book, 'Care Giving and Love'

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Reverend Dr. Mary Ivey talks about founding Maine Avenue Ministries

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Mary Ivey describes her mission at Maine Avenue Ministries

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Mary Ivey describes the Let's Overcome Violence Everywhere program

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Mary Ivey talks about founding the Church of God's Love

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Mary Ivey describes the National Association of Minority Political Families

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Mary Ivey talks about her organizational involvement

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Mary Ivey talks about The HistoryMakers project

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Mary Ivey reflects upon her life

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. Mary Ivey reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Reverend Dr. Mary Ivey describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Mary Ivey narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$3

DAStory

11$7

DATitle
Reverend Dr. Mary Ivey describes her earliest childhood memory
Reverend Dr. Mary Ivey describes her calling to the ministry
Transcript
What are your earliest, farthest back memories as a child? How far back can you remember as a child? What incidents and situations do you remember?$$I remember going to school [Douglas School, Vian, Oklahoma] when I was about three years old. My [paternal] grandmother, Mary [Mary Henry], also kept teachers who were--single teachers who were boarding and she had one teacher named Edith Jenkins and my middle name is for her. And Ms. Jenkins was unmarried and so she made her--I was like her little toy girl. So, she taught me to read--to read by the time I was three years old. And she made reading fun to me, and I bless the Lord for her to this day because, because of her, I've always enjoyed reading. It is my passion now. If I could get rid of some of the books I have, I could (laughter)--yeah, but anyway, I remember that. And I always--and I used to like to dance when I got older. And I just like fun and people. I'm very outgoing and very gregarious and so if it was fun--and then when I was a little girl, I used to go--I wanted to go to the fields and work and make some money. And I was perhaps the only girl my age or the youngest in town catching the trucks going to the fields to pick tomatoes, pick strawberries, cut spinach and all of that. And my mother [Lucy Ballard Lacy] would say, "Now, don't you get up there on that truck and get hurt and fall off." And everybody in town were saying, "Why do they let her go?" But I would cry to go. I would beg to go because I was always independent, always wanted my money, always liked shoes and my mother would let me buy a pair of shoes with my money (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) You still like shoes?$$--and go to the fair. Yes, I still like them. I have far too many.$You're known today and we want to begin to talk about the--your religious leadership and your ministries and a number of other organizations that you have founded and, and all related to human services and so on. Tell us how you began to move into the field of ministry. This happened after you retired or before or?$$Yes, after I retired, and I, I shared with you a little earlier that both my mother [Lucy Ballard Lacy] and my husband [Monteria Ivey, Sr.] were ill, and I just didn't know which way to turn, and I would often times come right in this room, in the living room, and get on my knees before the sofa or in front of a chair and just pray. And that's--was during the time that I felt that I was called to the ministry and that's during the time I was telling God, "I don't see how I can do this. I just--," and then some things began to be revealed to me. I went to a person's home who was on her death bed, so to speak, that I took my husband by to visit with her, and her name was Gertie Mae Turner [ph.]. She ended up leaving Shiloh Baptist Church [Washington, D.C.], a lot of her property and the building that they use for the office building, and some units in the same block of the church as well. But she said to me that day, she said, "The Lord wants you to speak for Him," and I had not mentioned to anybody but my mother, and my mother never knew her, and my mother was in Oklahoma and my husband about the ministry call. They both had encouraged me to do it but I hadn't really done anything about it. And so that was shocking to me. I knew my husband had not spoken to her because by that time, he couldn't dial the phone by himself. And I knew she was very sick, and I knew he had--so that shocked me. And I told Reverend Smith [Wallace Charles Smith] when I went to here and he said that often happens in life (unclear). So, different things began to happen to me, that I was asking God to show me some signs and what have you if--and I would say this, don't ask to be shown if you don't know what you're going to be shown because some of the things were frightening to me that happened, but I realized that God was doing what I had asked God to do. And so when my mother died, I said to a minister in Oklahoma, another female minister, that I was called to the ministry but I had not acknowledged it and that I felt empty inside. And, you know, it was a painful feeling and she said that, "You're going to always feel that way if you don't declare God publicly." Because she said, "I've been through it. The same thing happened to me." She said, "And once you declare it and begin, then you will feel different," and she was telling the truth. That was true. So I came back and actually we were at a Lott Carey [Landover, Maryland] meeting and I was co-chairing something for the Lott Carey for Reverend Smith and I just broke down--we were at the Shoreham Hotel and started crying. And he thought someone had said something to me or done something, so he said, "Well, what's wrong?" And we ended up going into a room talking, and I told him what had happened and he, he kids now and he says, publicly, he said, "I nearly fell out when Mary [HistoryMaker Reverend Dr. Mary Ivey] told me (laughter)." But, anyway, he told me to come to his office and talk, and I went to his office and talked. And he was teaching a class or two at Wesley Theological Seminary [Washington, D.C.] at the time and so the first thing he said to me, he said, well, "We gotta get you before the board, gotta do a trial sermon, and then also we gotta get you in Wesley." And that's how I happened to go to Wesley Seminary. He just said, "Wesley," and I went to Wesley and I really enjoyed it, but I also was ordained in Oklahoma before I finished Wesley by the same woman's husband who told me that I would feel empty. Her husband was the pastor of the church that my mother attended. And he invited me to be ordained at that church since my mother had been one of his closest friends in there. And he's dead now, but I went there and I was ordained, and then when I graduated from seminary, I was ordained here at Shiloh also.