Fay Nutt, a preacher's kid, left the church and didn't look back until many years later

Fay Rochelle Nutt was born on September 23, 1981, in Greenville, Mississippi, to parents Daniel and Henrietta. Daniel received his Master of Divinity in 1980 from Southern Baptist Theological Society. He and his wife then moved to Greenville, where he served as senior pastor for a small Baptist church. Henrietta dutifully served her husband and family.

Fay was an only child, and her parents doted on her until she was around seven years old. Unable to have any more children, Henrietta began to withdraw her affection from Fay.

Fay loved to debate and was an excellent student. Her second grade teacher recognized Fay's critical thinking skills and encouraged her independent thought.

When Fay was young, her parents tolerated her inquisitive nature, but when she reached adolescence, her father demanded that she look to her mother's example of behavior befitting a woman. Fay dreamed of becoming a lawyer, but under the crippling pressure of her father's religious beliefs, these dreams were destroyed, and Fay lost her desire to pursue any profession.

Flying in the face of her parents' ultra-conservative views, on her 18th birthday, Fay moved to Oxford to cohabitate with her boyfriend, Zach, who was attending the University of Mississippi studying pre-law.

Horrified, Fay's parents cut off all contact, telling Fay that her refusal to adhere to God's laws would lead to her eternal damnation and that her continued presence in their lives would incriminate them in God's eyes. Fay was devastated and slowly developed a strong resistance to commitment of any kind.

Her on-again-off-again relationship with Zach lasted for five years. Fay finally ended it for good in the middle of Zach's third year of law school when she realized she didn't want to be married.

Fay supported herself with long-term temporary secretarial assignments. In 2008, she reluctantly accepted a temporary job at the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit Church. While she wanted nothing to do with any church ever again, she found that the views of the senior pastor and his wife were very different from anything Fay had been exposed to. The Martinsons were down-to-earth, inclusive and non-judgmental.

After three months, Pastor Martinson offered Fay a permanent position. Fay accepted it without hesitation and happily settled into a supporting role for the pastor, his wife, and their church community.

Fay began attending church regularly, by choice, and the influence of Pastor Martinson's perspectives on faith and the practice of Christianity profoundly affected her. Through Pastor Martinson's example and his teachings, Fay was able to find forgiveness for her parents, and more importantly, for herself.

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