I Am Wilshire – Debbie Meripolski.
Hometown: Kingston, Pennsylvania
Education: I attended the University of Florida and Boston University before I ultimately completed a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies at UT Dallas (Business/Psychology).
Profession: Nonprofit Development Consultant
Present city: Dallas
Tell us about your family.
My husband, Mike, is a family law attorney. Our daughter, Ann, is a Licensed Professional Counselor.
Tell us about your work/volunteer life.
I devoted most of my career to health and human services. Three years ago, I retired from full-time employment after 20 years at the Greater Dallas Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, 15 of those as executive director. Prior to that, I served on the staff of the Suicide and Crisis Center for 11 years, the last 8 as executive director. I continue to do part-time nonprofit development consulting, most recently at Interfaith Family Services and currently with Baptist News Global. I can say with certainty that my work has solidified my faith, and I am honored to have worked with people on whom God could depend to act for him in the world.
What are your favorite hobbies?
Reading, walking and traveling.
Where is your favorite place to travel?
Two of our favorite trips have been a Rhine River cruise and an Alaskan cruise. We also enjoy weekend “adventures” to county seats and small towns where we always find interesting architecture, museums, places to hike and local food.
What brought you to Wilshire and when?
In 2005, Mike and I were looking for a new church home. Wilshire offered what we needed most: a strong youth program for our daughter, traditional worship, stimulating preaching, religious education, community outreach, a spirit of inclusiveness and active support of social justice.
Where are you engaged in Wilshire?
This year, I am deacon chair and serve on the Pastor Search Committee. I am a Stephen Minister, director of Epiphany Class and serve on the COVID-19 Advisory Task Force. In the past, I have served on and chaired the Finance Committee, Deacon Nominating Committee, and Pathways to Ministry Committee.
Tell us about your faith journey.
Growing up, my family moved several times, and my parents took us to whatever church was convenient, as long as it was reasonably progressive. I was dedicated in a Northern Baptist church, baptized in a Lutheran church, and confirmed in a Presbyterian church. Mike and I attended a Methodist church before we found Wilshire. My background is ecumenical, but at Wilshire I have found my true spiritual home.
- If you’d like to be featured in “I Am Wilshire,” email Carolyn Murray at firstname.lastname@example.org.