I Am Wilshire: Susan Leonard

by | Jul 28, 2023 | I Am Wilshire

Hometown: Atlanta
Present City: Dallas
Education: BSN, Medical College of Georgia; MSN, Texas Woman’s University; EdD, Counseling, Marriage and Family Emphasis, Texas A&M–Commerce
Profession: Licensed Professional Counselor and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Tell us about your family.
My son and his wife and four children live in the Dallas area. I have four stepchildren and their children and grandchildren, here and in the Austin area. My two brothers and their families live in Atlanta.

How about your work or volunteer life?
My first career was nursing; I taught maternal-newborn nursing at TWU for 20 years. I’ve had my own psychotherapy practice, where I see individuals and couples, for over 25 years. One of my specialties is helping those with emotional or psychological needs during the childbearing cycle (infertility, pregnancy loss, high-risk pregnancy, postpartum mood disorders). That allows me to combine my nursing and counseling experiences.

Favorite hobbies?
Time with friends, reading, gardening and singing

What are your favorite places to travel?
Anyplace I take my grandchildren! Siesta Key Beach in Florida is my “happy place.”

What brought you to Wilshire and when?
I came in 2005 after listening to George on WRR and being encouraged to join the choir by a friend.

Where are you engaged at Wilshire?
I attend Discovery Class, sing in Sanctuary Choir and am an active deacon. Currently, I’m serving on the Deacon Service Workgroup. I help with mission projects on Wednesday nights and Rise Against Hunger each year. I previously served on the Encouragement Ministry Team, Worship and Music Committee, New Member Committee and Julie Merritt Lee’s lay mentoring group. I’ve spoken at Marriage 1:1 and MOPS events, helped with Room in the Inn, worked with Habitat for Humanity when Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter were in Dallas and have volunteered at Healing Hands Ministries.

Tell us about your faith journey.
I was raised in a Baptist church, with parents who accepted every body. After 20 years in the Episcopal Church with my husband, I returned to my Baptist roots at Wilshire after he passed. My faith is both old and ever-evolving, as I take steps backward and then forward again. I love being at Wilshire where I am in community with others who are supportive fellow travelers on this road.

What’s something interesting most people would not know about you?
Pastoral Resident Tasha Gibson lived with me during her two years here — a wonderful time!

What are your strengths?
My top strengths from the Clifton StrengthsFinder are harmony, empathy, winning others over and connectedness.

*If you are interested in being featured in an upcoming I Am Wilshire feature, contact Carolyn Murray(cmurray@wilshirebc.org)