Evangelist Mae Terry: The Harvest Is Not Finished
by Douglas Leroy
E

vangelist Mae Terry was a dynamic preacher, powerful singer, courageous spiritual warrior, obedient servant, and soul harvester.

On New Year’s Eve, 1953, Terry started a revival at my home church in Langley, South Carolina. For three weeks she sang and preached with no results. Pastor W. E. Dowdy declared the revival would continue until God was finished.

During the fourth week, a spiritual awakening occurred. The meeting continued for 10 weeks, resulting in the salvation of 161 people and 121 being baptized in the Holy Spirit. Over 100 persons were baptized in water and joined the church. Five people were called into the ministry. The Langley Church was never the same. It was the most life-changing revival this writer has ever experienced.

Mae Terry was born on January 11, 1906, in Gwinnett County, Georgia. She was converted at an early age and joined the Buford Church of God. At 15, she married Drew Drummond, and they had three children.

Mae began preaching in 1932, and suffered the loss of her husband four years later. After his death, she preached a revival under a brush harbor in Cumming, Georgia. One of the attendees was Justice of the Peace Claude Terry. Shortly thereafter, they married and God gave them a son, Claude, who later attended Lee College and received his doctorate from the University of Georgia as a microbiologist. He commented that his mother was a lady of integrity who lived at home like she did at church. He recalls how she would go into the woods behind the house and pray for hours, weeping for lost souls.

It was the most life-changing revival this writer has ever experienced.

Terry received her ministerial credentials in 1941. She was an anointed and highly traveled evangelist with a dynamic prophetic gift. She conducted numerous revivals lasting four to eight weeks in the Southeast and in Germany. In 1949, she preached a revival in Eldorado, Georgia, for Pastor Hubert S. Norris. The revival lasted four weeks, resulting in 56 people being saved, 60 sanctified, 46 filled with the Holy Ghost, and 34 members added to the church. Norris said it was the greatest revival in the history of the church.

She recorded albums of her singing which blessed thousands. One of her favorites was: “I was on the mountain / wandering from the fountain / when I heard my Savior calling me. / He said, Come to me relenting, / of your sins repenting, / and I will lead you out where you can see.”

Terry mentored many young ministers. The seeds she planted and cultivated are still harvesting souls today. Over 30 people answered the call of God under her preaching. One was Pastor Gerald Lee, who served more than 30 years in Turnerville, Georgia. He stayed in contact with Terry so she might mentor and counsel him.

Parnell Coward─who spent over 50 years in the ministry as a pastor, missionary, and a professor at Holmes Bible College in Greenville, South Carolina─was saved, sanctified, filled with the Holy Spirit, and called to preach under Terry’s ministry. He said he never knew a more devoted Christian and more Spirit-discerning evangelist. Terry’s mentorship guided his life and approach to ministry.

Terry pastored several congregations in Georgia and served as a state evangelist in South Carolina, which was rare for a woman. In spite of the difficulties and challenges facing female ministers, she was faithful to her call from God. Terry preached over 7,000 sermons and led more than 6,000 to faith in Christ. She witnessed over 3,500 receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Her life was filled with prayer, preaching, and discipling others.

Mae Terry died August 1, 2001, at the age of 95. What a life of harvesting and soul-winning!

Douglas LeRoy is a writer and a former director of Church of God World Missions.