Saturday, February 09, 2013

Mary Lance V. Sisk

Mary Lance Sisk
One of the mentors who opened many doors for me was a wonderful grand lady of the South named Mary Lance V. Sisk of Charlotte, NC. She passed away unexpectedly in her sleep a year ago today.

Mary Lance was a national prayer leader and did many incredible things for the Lord's Kingdom, but she was also a friend. Mary Lance taught me how to pray with passion and to pray with dependence on the Holy Spirit's leadership.

Once when Mary Lance was in charge of the prayer room for the Promise Keepers Clergy Conference at Calvary Church in Charlotte, she asked me to come and lead an hour shift in the chapel with about 100 intercessors she had recruited. I had spent the night at a friend's house in Mint Hill and was running late because of traffic on what was then a two-lane road into south Charlotte. I arrived almost an hour late, flustered, and just glad to find the right room in the huge complex of Calvary Church. What happened next was quintessential Mary Lance.

Even before my eyes could adjust from the bright outside to the darker chapel, I heard Mary Lance on the platform announce to the crowded room, "And now, my friend Gene Brooks is coming to the platform to take us from where the Lord has been speaking so far this morning to us in prayer, and he will lead us forward."  I was in shock.

I reached the platform and frantically whispered to Mary Lance, "But I just arrived. I don't know how to lead!"

"It's OK hon'," she smiled, "just listen to the Holy Spirit. He will lead you," and she sat down!

There I stood, with no idea what to do. So I prayed and asked the Lord to give me direction. Then a verse of Scripture came to mind, and I began to pray it. Later so many people told me that I was following right in line with what the Holy Spirit had been leading in the previous hour. They didn't know the whole story, and I just told everyone thanks.

I miss hearing Mary Lance pray with such gusto and power and passion. I miss her powerful speaking. Here is a link (as long as it is active) of Mary Lance speaking in 2009 at St. Giles Presbyterian Church (EPC) in Charlotte, hers and her husband Bob's home church.

Following is Mary Lance's obituary.

Mary Lance Van Every Sisk

Cumming, GA – Mary Lance Van Every Sisk, age 75, died peacefully in her sleep on February 9, 2012. A passionate community advocate, evangelist, author, mentor, gracious hostess and championship golfer, Mary Lance is best remembered as a servant of God who was an uplifting inspiration to family and friends.

Born September 26, 1936 in Charlotte, Mary Lance was the daughter of her late parents Philip Lance Van Every and Carolyn Quincy Johnson. She was a 1954 graduate of Myers Park High School and attended Duke University. She was married to her beloved husband, the late Bob Sisk, for 54 years.

Mary Lance traveled throughout the world as a prayer leader and teacher of the art of friendship evangelism. She authored the booklet "Love Your Neighbor" which has been used worldwide and translated into many languages including Spanish, Arabic, French, Chinese and Croatian.

Mary Lance served on the Board of Directors of the Mission America Coalition, Joni and Friends, and Aglow International; on the National Leadership Team for Lydia Fellowship; and was a member of the United States National Prayer Committee. Mary Lance and her husband founded the Metrolina Prayer Network and, with eight other women, she founded Second Fridays for Praying Women for Charlotte. She also served on the Executive Committee of The CoMission and was one of the Vice Chairmen for the 1996 Carolinas Billy Graham Crusade. She actively supported The Salvation Army and was a past editor of the Junior League's "The Crier" magazine.

Many of her peers will recall Mary Lance's love for the game of golf. She was the long time holder of the women's course record at Charlotte Country Club, played on the Carolinas golf team, and played as an amateur in the U.S. Women's Open Championship.

Mary Lance is survived by two sisters, Anne Van Every Glenn (Tom) of Debordieu, SC and Diana Hamilton Van Every of Statesville, NC; her son, Robert V. Sisk, Jr. (Jess) of Advance, NC; three daughters: Mary Lance McGinn (Dan) of Marvin, NC, Lindsay Monaghan (Bob) of Raleigh, NC and Carolyn Williams (Jim) of Cumming, GA; nine grandchildren, two step-grandchildren; and two great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, Robert V. Sisk; a sister, Carolyn Van Every Foil; and one son, Philip Van Every Sisk.

There will be a memorial service at St. Giles Presbyterian Church, 2027 Emerywood Drive in Charlotte at 2:00 p.m. on Monday, February 13 with a reception to follow.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to either The Salvation Army, 4335 Stuart Andrew Boulevard, Suite 120, Charlotte, NC, 28217 or Wellspring Living, 140 Howell Road, Suite C-2, Tyrone, GA, 30290. The family is being served by Harry & Bryant Company.