If you are an upper campus student, and you don’t bring your lunch every day, you know who Mrs. Beeler is. Penny Beeler grew up in Bloomington/Normal, Illinois, where she and her husband of almost 30 years, David, were franchisee owners of three Jimmy Johns sandwich shops. They sold their shops and took a huge leap of faith moving to North Carolina in 2002. In that same year, Penny began volunteering in the lunch program at GRACE where her two children (both GRACE and college graduates) were enrolled.
Two years later, when GRACE moved from its first location on Edward’s Mill Road to the 801 Buck Jones Road location, hot lunch was offered three days a week and Penny had stepped into the role of Hot Lunch Coordinator, a role she holds to this day. Penny shares that one of the great delights of her job is seeing students mature with each passing year and seeing God’s plans unfold for them during their senior year.
Penny sees her job as a ministry and she prays daily for the GRACE students, staff, and families with her team of volunteers. Penny loves the way GRACE families take care of each other and has experienced the loving community of GRACE first hand when she lost her father to cancer in 2014. She states, “I love how GRACE it as its best being the body of Christ when you need it the most in your life.”
When asked to share a memory from her own school days, Penny recalls being a high school senior and a member of the pom pom squad that performed with the school band. The squad frequently took top honors in competitions and was invited to perform in the Fiesta Bowl parade. Penny remembers this as being a fun event for the whole squad.
Penny loves to travel and is a PADI certified scuba diver. One of her favorite trips was to Malta where the Apostle Paul was shipwrecked. She especially loved the views of the Mediterranean Sea and Mediterranean cuisine. When traveling, she especially loves researching and choosing where her family will eat.
When asked to share a life lesson, Penny responded that she has learned, or is trying to learn, to “not sweat the small stuff.” She states that the Bible does a wonderful job and keeping her grounded and focusing on an eternal perspective rather than one that is temporary and shares that her favorite Bible verse is Ephesians 3:20-21, “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Penny shared that God has proven Himself time and time again that He is her Sustainer, Provider, and Redeemer and that He is able to do above and beyond anything and everything we ask of Him. He alone deserves the glory and the praise.