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Longview woman makes difference at church

By Becky Bell
Dec. 15, 2017 at 11:23 p.m.

Sandra Boorman, family and women's minister, puts up Christmas decorations Nov. 30 at Alpine Church of Christ.

The creator of the Alpine Christian Academy and the church's first female family and women's minister, Sandra Boorman plans to retire Dec. 31, but says she will still be involved with the church as much as she can.

"I don't know what my legacy will be," Boorman said. "I like to think that God uses me as a high-energy person and I think God uses all kinds of people to kind of jump start different things."

In the spring of 1995, the church hired Boorman as a part-time children's director.

At that same time, several families in the church had a vision to start a school and Boorman began contributing to making that happen. In 1996, the Alpine Christian Academy opened with 12 students. The private Christian school serves children ages 12 months to kindergarten and now has about 180 students.

Boorman said the school's growth really started in 1999 when the church decided to break ground and build a campus. The new school opened in 2001.

"We realized the vision of the school could be big," she said. "From the very beginning we wanted it to be a Christian education but let education be the heart of it. All classes are very educationally sound. A lot of teachers who worked in public schools came to work for us when they had children."

For 18 years, Boorman served as the school's director and said she loved it.

"The teachers are just like friends and it was fun to have the families grow at the school," she said. "I look back and a lot of these kids are married and have their own children."

Boorman's experience in education comes from past jobs such as starting a home day care, working for Pine Tree and Longview ISDs, Oak Forest Montessori School and Winterfield Methodist Church.

"That's how education with children got in my blood," she said.

Boorman and her husband, Paul Boorman, came to Longview 39 years ago and both worked to leave a mark on the city. Paul Boorman, a 25-year employee with the City of Longview as the parks and recreation manager and the city's community services director, has a trail named for him. The trail goes from Loop 281 to U.S. 80.

Paul Boorman is now administrative minister at Alpine Church of Christ; his position includes doing the church's accounting. His office door is next to his wife's so people at the church have been telling Sandra Boorman they feel sorry for her husband to lose his longtime work mate of 13 years.

"I told him he was going to miss me and they say 'your poor husband,'" she said.

Five years ago, Boorman was diagnosed with breast cancer and decided she needed a change from being director of the school. Church administrators asked if she would serve instead as the family and women's minister. She agreed to take the position, and for the past five years she has been in full remission. She said having cancer made her think about what she wanted to do with her life.

"I think you re-evaluate your life and your health and so I thought that would be a time to step back a little bit," she said.

One of the things she hopes she can have a hand in is creating a cancer support group because she said she doesn't think that such a group exists and she believes there is a need for one.

As the family and women's minister, Boorman worked with a team to plan things such as a ladies Bible class and the Women in God's Service banquet, an annual event that draws about 350 people. She also plans nights where the women can get together to play Bunco and a women's weekend retreat.

Besides working with women, she also has worked with families. When she is wearing this hat, she plans marriage and parenting classes and a yearly marriage retreat.

"I guess what I like about it most would be to be working with the young couples and young families and just to hear what is going on in their lives and try to give them biblical foundation for their families," she said.

In retirement, Boorman plans to pursue such hobbies as painting, photography, exploring other arts, hiking and traveling. One particular place she intends to go is Colorado. That is where her daughter Emily and her husband Andrew Medlock reside with their two children Sam, 8, and Amelia "Milly," 12.

She also plans to help her daughter Abby Owens of Longview at her home business, the Twisted Owl, where she hand dyes yarn.

Boorman admits that retirement will be a big change, but said she is not going to be a stranger at the church.

"I give God the glory, just for my life," Boorman said. "It's a big change. I'm still going to be right here helping with a lot of things."

Rebecca Thomas, the church's administrative assistant, said she has enjoyed working with Boorman.

"It's outstanding that she was the first female minister here," Thomas said. "She broke the glass ceiling and she does it with generosity and kindness. She is a godly woman and leads a godly life. ... She leads with grace, confidence and eagerness."

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