Pastor Susie Fitch-Slater volunteering in 2019 at the OVFD, which served as the disaster recovery center from Hurricane Dorian. Photo: P. Vankevich

By Peter Vankevich

After two years at the Ocracoke United Methodist Church, Pastor Susie Fitch-Slater will return to her home church, Bethany United Methodist Church in Wanchese, Dare County.

Pastor Susie, as she is known to her congregation and friends, moved here in July 2019 with her husband Tom Slater, replacing Richard Bryant. Two months later Hurricane Dorian devastated the island forcing her and Tom to retreat to the attic of the parsonage on Howard Street.

Pastor Susie Fitch-Slater. Photo: P. Vankevich

The storm damaged the parsonage and the church, both of which have required extensive and expensive repairs. But more than that, it provided a challenge like no others in nearly 50 years as a pastor as she has provided spiritual comfort to a community where more than 400 homes were badly damaged and many lost their life possessions and jobs.

With the church inaccessible, services creatively took place in a variety of locations, starting jointly with Pastor Ivey Belch of the Life Saving Church on Lighthouse Road as well as via Zoom and on Facebook.

Her last service will be this Sunday (June 27) outside of the church at 10 a.m. A farewell potluck will follow at the Ocracoke Community Center at 1 p.m. Those wishing to see her off may bring a dish to share.

The new Methodist pastor, Logan Jackson, his wife Catherine and their young son Aiden will arrive next week, and his first service will be July 4.

To read more about Pastor Susie, click: New United Methodist pastor: ‘Come walk with me’
Looking back: New pastor’s intro to Ocracoke is a baptism by water

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