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Mary Page (Welborn) Sims

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HENDERSONVILLE-Mary Page Welborn Sims entered into eternal rest on May 25, 2014, as a result of complications from cancer, diagnosed last month.
Born August 9, 1942 in Greenville, SC, to William Jackson Welborn and Graham Arrington Welborn, Mary Page grew up in Trion, GA. Always devoted to her faith, Mary Page gave praise to God in all things. She sang in her church choir at an early age, and at 9 years old conducted Bible School for neighborhood children. At the age of 11, she dreamed that she saw herself preaching. She was imploring her fellowship of dolls and friends to work together for peace. She lived into that dream.
In 1962, she married The Reverend C. Newell Anderson, Jr., of Marietta, GA. The couple, along with their two sons, David and Peter John, lived in Sewanee, TN, Columbus, GA, and Atlanta, GA, where she worked for the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta. The couple divorced in 1979. Mary Page moved to Anderson, SC in 1983.
With her husband, The Right Reverend Bennett J. Sims, whom she married in 1988, Mary Page was an integral part of The Institute for Servant Leadership, which was founded at Emory University by Bishop Sims. In 1989, Bennett and Mary Page moved the Institute to Kanuga, and became active members of the Hendersonville community.
Mary Page was a founding member of the United Religions Initiative (URI) of Henderson County, where she served for 12 years as Convener. URI, a global movement to foster greater dialogue between faith communities, was exceptionally important to her. Her passion for interfaith inclusiveness grew naturally from her Christian heritage and identity.
In Hendersonville, Mary Page also played piano for the Monday night worship service at the Rescue Mission. She welcomed those in need at the Interfaith Assistance Ministry. A member of the First Congregational Church, she was co-chair of the Walter E. Ashley Lecture Series.
People create ripples within community. There are too many groups, services, relationships, and fellowships that Mary Page Sims inspired to note. Her authentic grace will live on in our hearts.
Mary Page is survived by her sons, David Graham (Margaret) Anderson of Lawrenceville, GA and Peter John (Deborah) Anderson of Athens, GA; twogranddaughters, Victoria and Stephanie Anderson of Lawrenceville, GA; sister, Anne Welborn Greene of Atlanta, GA; brother William (Beth) Welborn of Easley, SC; and many nieces and nephews and their children.
A service in celebration of Mary Page's life and legacy will be held Saturday, May 31st, at 10:00a.m. at the Chapel of the Transfiguration at Kanuga. Interment to follow at Kanuga's St. Francis Chapel Memorial Garden.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions to the URI of Henderson County's Mary Page Sims Scholarship, Interfaith Assistance Ministry, Hendersonville Rescue Mission, Institute for Servant Leadership, or the charity of your choice.
An online register book is available for family and friends by visiting www.thosshepherd.com. Thos. Shepherd & Son Funeral Directors and Cremation Memorial Center is in charge of arrangements.
Published in The Times-News on May 28, 2014
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