Where’s your home? Greenville, N.C. My mother’s still there, and a lot of my other family.
How often do you go? I go back two or three times a year. I started flying the last time. It’s about an eight- or 10-hour drive.
How do you think your hometown most influenced you? I started singing publicly there at age 16 and recording at 18. I was trained vocally there and I traveled around to many churches. It gave me an exposure to different classes of people.
After high school, what did you do? I went to Pitt Community College and majored in business administration. Then I got married. I also worked for Equifax. My husband and I had three boys together: Ty, who’s 25; Duane, who’s 23; and Tony, who’s 18. The boys’ father and I are now divorced. We were married 18 years. After that, everybody broke out into music.
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When did you come here? In 1987. The military brought us. I joined North Highland in 1993. Now I’m the assistant to the administrator, Robert French, and the assistant to John Skipper (the music pastor). I’m also the database administrator. People sometimes ask me: “Do you live here?” I have a business on the side called Let’s Vocalize. I give workshops and private voice lessons.
You’re remarried now. Yes, to Timothy Childree. We met at North Highland. When you are ministering or speaking in the service, you always know the people in the audience who are drawn to you. I would focus on him, and we had a good rapport. My divorce had hurt me a lot. One day Tim walked up to me and introduced himself. He came out of a marriage similar to mine. He and I became really good friends, and I was trying to find people for him to marry. We never dated each other. I don’t think marriage occurred to either one of us.
Then what? All of a sudden, he said he wanted to remarry. People would ask him, “What about Catherine?” and we’d both say we were just friends. ... We’d tell each other we wanted to grow old together as best friends. Then he said, “Will you marry me?” It was crazy. We‘ll be married five years in November. He works at TSYS, in card services.
Were you raised in church? Yes. I grew up singing in the choir at Philippi Church of Christ in Greenville. My pastor back home says when he sees two pews filled up on a Sunday with my family, he knows I’m around. I have a lot of nieces and nephews, and now two great-great nieces. I’m the youngest of seven. I became a Christian when I was 17 and have served the Lord ever since. It’s been a tremendous journey. My faith has exposed me to great things and great people. When we moved here, I went to nursing homes and worked with Teen Challenge. I love people. I’m very passionate about people — from the White House to the poor house. I want everyone to know someone loves them.