Kay Henry has lived a life of Christian service and volunteerism, prompting Claremore Daily Progress staff members to invite her to write a weekly devotional column for the Progress. “We are pleased that Henry has accepted this assignment,” said Progress editor, Cydney Baron.
The column will appear as a regular feature in the “Faith” section of the newspaper each Friday.
“Her qualifications for the assignment are further strengthened,” said Baron “because of her varied background as a reporter, journalism teacher, author, church preschool minister, and university administrator and fundraiser.”
“We have decided on the standing heading, “Living in the Light,” said Henry. “Inspiration for the column will come from the Bible,” she continued, “with a focus on encouragement and wisdom for daily living—and on God’s love and gift of salvation, personified in the teaching and ministry of Christ Jesus, the ‘Light of the world.’”
A local resident for many years, Henry is an active member of Claremore First Baptist Church. She was born in Shawnee, OK, and earned a bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma Baptist University (OBU) in journalism and English. She was a reporter for the Shawnee News-Star, before accepting a high school journalism teaching post in Columbia, MO. She later directed preschool ministries at Claremore First Baptist Church, as well as at three other churches in Tulsa and Broken Arrow, from 1972-88.
Henry served in several positions at OBU, from 1988-91 and 1995-2008, including regional development director, executive director of the OBU Alumni Association, and assistant vice president for development. She led two nationwide alumni campaigns, exceeding a combined total of $8 million in gifts. In 2010, Henry was recognized by the OBU Alumni Association with its highest honor, the Alumni Achievement Award.
In 1991, Henry returned to preschool ministry, serving as a consultant in leading seminars and writing materials for local churches, state Baptist conventions, and LifeWay Christian Resources. She authored five books published by Convention Press, as well as numerous articles.
As a volunteer, Henry has served in a variety of Christian ministries and on the boards for several charitable organizations. She has served as an officer of a Tulsa-based charitable foundation for the past 10 years.
“My efforts, whether in my career assignments or volunteer projects, have always centered on encouraging individuals and organizations to offer their best gifts in service to God,” Henry stated. “God’s plan is to give us ‘a hope and a future,’” she explained, “and God’s unfailing love is the source of all our motivation as Christians for living in the light of hope and service to others.”
Since Henry’s retirement in 2008, she has traveled extensively in the Holy Lands, making five trips to Israel. She and her husband also enjoyed travel in Turkey visiting sites of the seven churches of Revelation, as well as the Greek island of Patmos where the apostle John was imprisoned while writing the book of Revelation. Their trip to Greece and Italy included stops in the island of Crete, Athens, Corinth, and Rome where they visited archaeological sites focused on the ministry of the apostle Paul.
She has been married to Joe Henry for 50 years. He taught biology and chemistry at Claremore High School in the early 1970s, and retired after 30 years with BakerHughes and Centrilift in Claremore, working in research and development and in the engineering divisions.
The Henrys have two married children, Dr. Douglas Henry, an associate dean at Baylor University in Waco, TX; and Jenifer Henry-Gonzalez, an independent human resources consultant based in Claremore. Two grandchildren, ages 12 and 4, “bring us such joy,” said Henry.