I Am Wilshire – Ella Prichard.
Name: Ella Wall Prichard;
Hometown: New Orleans;
Present city: Corpus Christi/Dallas
Education: BA, Baylor University; history major, journalism minor
Tell us about your family.
I married Lev in 1962 and have been widowed since 2009. My daughter and her husband live in Corpus Christi, and my son and his wife live in Dallas. I have four married grandchildren and three great-granddaughters.
How about your work or volunteer life?
My “career” for more than 50 years was as a community and church volunteer and a nonprofit board member, including for Baylor and Wayland universities, an anti-drug organization in Washington, D.C., Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Foundation and Baptists Today. I retired from governance at age 75, but I serve on a few committees and advisory boards for nonprofits I support in Corpus Christi, Dallas and Nantucket, as well as at Baylor. I am deeply invested in Colonial Williamsburg and the Black Gospel Music Project at Baylor.
Any favorite hobbies?
I love to garden, cook and entertain, and I am an occasional writer. In 2018 the Baylor University Press published my memoir, Reclaiming Joy: A Primer for Widows. In Dallas I’m involved with the symphony, opera and arboretum.
What are your favorite places to travel?
Nantucket, Williamsburg, New Orleans and Europe — especially London, Paris and the Amalfi Coast, which I consider the most beautiful place on earth.
What brought you to Wilshire and when?
I’ve heard about Wilshire since I attended Baylor. I was impressed when Wilshire began its pastoral residency program, and I visited Wilshire after I bought my condo here in 2010. After worshiping online with Wilshire during the pandemic, I joined in fall 2021. I love the familiar, traditional hymns and the Sanctuary that remind me of growing up in Baptist churches, and I am proud to be affiliated with a church so identified with social justice issues. I’m a member of the Compass Sunday School Class.
What’s something interesting most people wouldn’t know about you?
I led a team from First Baptist Church Corpus Christi to Sri Lanka a year after the tsunami to join in a Baptist World Alliance project to build a village for the poorest of the poor, who had been squatters on the beach and lost everything. We lived on the construction site and worked alongside the Sri Lankan laborers. As team cook, I went to local markets daily and cooked all our meals on an outdoor, two-burner propane cooktop. We washed dishes and clothes in a plastic tub on the ground that was fed with a garden hose. Lots of boiled water!
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