Before she began her local mission work, Cindy Privette got to see the personal side of state and national politicians, including a former vice president.
Q: Many people know you from the Brown Bag Ministries with Zebulon United Methodist Church, but what other interests keep you busy?
A: I like to crochet and I like to read, but I would have to say that I really enjoy photography. I used to do a lot of photography for the (Zebulon) chamber, and I have participated in some art shows. I have had my photos at art shows for both the Zebulon and Wendell chambers, and I participated in an art show in Louisburg. I even had my work at the State Fair, which I am really proud of. You have to go through the process of having your work selected for competition so I never received a ribbon, but my work was chosen to be on the floor and that was a big deal for me.
Q: What subjects do you like taking pictures of?
A: Mostly nature and still life. I like landscapes and animals – sunsets, a little bit of everything. Sometimes I am driving and I see something I want to take a picture of. I have stopped traffic many times (laughing).
Q: You became ingrained into community service in eastern Wake County, but you did not grow up in the area?
A: I am a transplant (laughing). I grew up in a small town, Johnsonville, S.C. It was a long road here, but I met my husband (Gordon Privette) in Wilson where we both worked. He moved back to the house outside Zebulon he was born in after his father died so he could be closer to his mom. The home has a lot of history – it was built pre-Civil War. It is located on Fowler Road so for him, he sort of came full-circle and moved back home in 1994. He had joined ZUMC in the 1970s so it was also nice for him to get back to his home church. I have enjoyed being here and getting to know the people here.
Q: You were a homemaker for a while, but you have held some pretty interesting jobs, rubbing elbows with state and national politicians. What politicians made an impact on you?
A: For about five years, I was the executive administrative assistant to one of the assistants to the chancellor at NC State University. After that, I worked for the NCCBI, which is the North Carolina Citizens for Business and Industry. I was an administrative assistant to one of the state’s top lobbyists. I helped put out a magazine and just basically did what she needed me to. I worked with both the state legislature and with Congress. It did provide me the opportunities to meet a lot of interesting people. I got a chance to meet Vice President Al Gore. He was speaking at an event along with John Edwards. They were both nice but I would have to say the politician who made the biggest impact on me was (former North Carolina Congressman) Bob Etheridge. He is just very personable and there are no airs about him. He is just nice and down-to-earth. I no longer work in politics and I have to say I really don’t miss that commute to Raleigh, but the unique part of my job was getting to know the personal side of some of the politicians – getting to know about their families. I got to see another side that a lot of people do not get to see.
Q: How did you become involved with Brown Bag Ministries?
A: Brown Bag Ministries started in Raleigh and was brought to Wendell and St. Eugene’s about three years ago by Tom Falvey. I had already stated doing mission work at ZUMC with Warming the Heart coat drive, and then that led me to Brown Bag Ministries. When it started out, we were providing about 25-50 lunches and now we provide about 300 every Saturday. They are made at St. Eugene’s and then distributed to us and other places. St. Eugene’s now prepares about 900 lunches – it is really amazing. And we have not missed a Saturday in three years – we have been out there during a hurricane, snow, Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve – you name it. I remember during the hurricane, we had boys out in front of the church holding signs. The rain and high winds would get so bad, it would rip their signs but they would just come back in and make a new one.
Q: What keeps you dedicated to the mission work?
A: There are people who would otherwise go hungry if we were not there. It is an opportunity to serve God by serving others.
Correspondent Dena Coward