“I agreed that she could come over to my house. I was grateful to God for that, to be able to reach out and help her in that because I wanted her to excel in what she was trying to do,” McLendon said.

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She said dedication means being committed to whatever it is God has tasked your hands to do.

“Dedication means that I’m committed to what I’m doing. I’m loyal to it and I put my heart in it. I want to do the best that I can do, and I’m doing it unto the glory and honor of God,” the longtime educator said.

What did she enjoy most about a more than four-decade teaching career?

“The family environment. I grew to love my coworkers, and I grew to love my students and my parents. It was just like it was an extended family. It would always tickle me when they would say, ‘Ms. McLendon, you don’t ever miss a day out of school.’ I would laugh and tell them, ‘You know what? They pay me too much money to stay home. I have so much I need to teach you all that I can’t afford to stay home,’” she said.

She said her personal life, which includes her ministry work, also requires dedication to God.

“The first thing I had to do was be dedicated to spending time with God, then comes my family and job. So I had to make time for everything in its own place. I knew if I put God first, everything else would work itself out. It worked out beautifully,” McLendon said.

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