debbie sutherland

Hello! I’m Debbie! I was born and raised here in Mariposa. I come from a long line of Mariposians. My father’s family came to this area back in the 1850’s searching for gold. My mother’s family came here in 1920 and homesteaded 300 acres. I’m the oldest of 12 children. I have six brothers and five sisters. In case you can’t tell, I am very proud of my heritage. And needless to say, I’m an old-fashioned girl at heart—loving to know the history of things, antiquing and such.

When I was 21, I left Mariposa and God took me into the Christian Camping world. I started out as the Breakfast Cook and moved up to the Administrative side. At 28, God lead me to Alliance Redwoods Conference Center, located in Occidental, California where I served as the Office Manager, then later as Guest Group Coordinator. During my eight years there, a wonderful couple, George and Sylvia, also came on staff. Sylvia and I became fast friends. Since I was in a place with no family, God used her to be my mentor and surrogate mother. It was a very sad day when she died suddenly from a heart attack. That is when God took me on the next stage of my life journey: During that next year, George and I dated and married. We have five sons, three from George’s and Sylvia’s marriage, and the Lord blessed us with two of our own—Peter and Joey.

My life journey has come full circle as now we have been able to come back to Mariposa. We inherited my grandparents’ home and I feel so blessed to be living in and bringing life to it. I love waking in the morning to the golden sunlight on the mountains around me and in the evenings, feeling the cool breeze upon my skin; smelling the bear clover as it comes down through the draw brings such a sense of peace that I just praise my Father for such gifts. My faith journey began when I was born. I was raised Catholic. When I was 18, through a friend, I meet Jesus as my personal Savior. 

Every day since then, through the ups and downs, my faith has grown in all ways. But I think that the greatest growth period is when He brought us to New Life. For that is when-- in the Fall of 2006—that I was hired to be the Administrative Assistant. I always hesitate to call this my “job” because I know that I get so much more out of it than just a paycheck. I LOVE my place of ministry and feel such honor to be used in the areas that God is using me. My desire is to help others see and feel the love of our God; to help them to know how very special they are to Him, to be His arms to hug, His lips to speak truth into their lives, His ears to hear what they are truly saying, His eyes to see them the way He sees them and His heart, to love them as only He can love them. I am truly BLESSED