Barnes was not just a secretary

Denise Barnes is the office administrator at First Presbyterian Church in Elliottsville. (Contributed)

Denise Barnes is the office administrator at First Presbyterian Church in Elliottsville. (Contributed)

By SANDRA THAMES / Community Columnist

When she started at First Presbyterian Church (Elliottsville) in 2004, Denise Martin Barnes never imagined how expansive her job would eventually become.

A typical day means answering telephones, taking messages, keeping the calendar schedule for the church and building (many outside groups meet at the church on a regular basis), create and format all service bulletins, update and publish the weekly newsletter, assist pastors, elders, deacons and teachers with purchasing materials and supplies that they need to carry out a service or ministry, send out correspondence from church, help with preparation of PowerPoint presentation for worship and other duties.

“As a child I always thought I would work in a ministry of some sort,” Barnes says. “This job as office administrator is my way to serve.”

A 1987 graduate of the University of Montevallo, Barnes earned her B.S. degree in Child Development/Family Consumer Science.

She and Paul Barnes were introduced by a mutual friend and were very active in Montevallo’s well-known College Night (Purple and Gold program).

They were married in 1988 and are parents of Nicholas, age 15, Katy, age 14, and Alexander, age 10.

In the past Barnes has worked at the Marshall County Child Development Center and was also employed by the Marshall County Child Advocacy Program.

“Being a historical interpreter at American Village was a job I also enjoyed,” she says. “During my senior year at the University of Montevallo I did an internship at Childrens Hospital as a Child Life Specialist. This involved providing emotional support for families and children facing a broad range of challenging experiences.” (She says this was very helpful to her during her son Nicholas’ battle with cancer when he was 10).

Barnes enjoys drawing, reading, studying history, taking photos and doing genealogy.

As for traveling, Barnes loves the Smokies, and her dream vacation would be to Great Britain.

The favorite part of her job at First Presbyterian is meeting such a variety of people under a variety of circumstances.

Also, a plus is the fact that it affords her more opportunity to spend time with her children in the afternoons.