When First Lady Vera E. Merritt enters a room, in most cases, you may not even notice it. The book of Proverbs tells us, "A gracious woman gets honor." "She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue". Your visit to the First Apostolic Council is not complete until you have received a greeting and a smile from our first lady!
She and her husband, Bishop Merritt were baptized in Jesus' name on Sunday, May 6, 1970, and filled with the Holy Ghost the very next day while under the leadership of District Elder W.W. Harris of Greater Christ Temple Church (GTC) of Nashville, TN.
In July of 1983 sister Merritt became the First Lady of Greater Christ Temple and down through the years she has proven herself to be a loyal benefactor and faithful supporter of the G.T.C. family as well as a consummate helpmeet to her husband Bishop Sherman L. Merritt.
Her name "Vera" has two meanings, they are "faithful" and "truth" and this is no coincidence as those who know her will attest. Although her faith in God is strong, First Lady Merritt is a realist. She is known for being unreservedly straightforward and down to earth, yet incessantly sanguine despite the many obstacles that she has faced over the years.
With 30 years of experience as a Sunday school teacher, her spiritual resume is quite Meritorious as well. In years past she has been an advisor or held offices in the Young Adult choir, Young People's department, marriage enrichment ministry, usher board, as well as the G.T.C. deacons, trustees and the ministers' wives groups. First Lady Merritt is also a skilled puppeteer and as such she and a team of volunteers are able to provide Christian education and entertainment for children of God of all ages.
Even with her status as "Bishop's Wife" and a member of the P.A.W. National Evangelism Team, First Lady Vera Merritt always exemplifies the polarity between ceremony and substance by remaining humble and not desiring or demanding special attention or preeminence among the saints. It is said that through her leadership in the upper room ministry, First Lady Merritt willingly stays long hours and overnight if necessary to care for the new souls as they seek the infilling of the Holy Ghost. Her concern is not only for the household of faith, she also takes time out of her schedule to volunteer at the local Baptist Hospital.
First Lady Merritt is the Founder and CEO of Sew and Reap Ministries, a non-profit corporation located at 802 Youngs Lane, Nashville, TN 37207. Through Sew and Reap, First Lady Merritt and her staff are dedicated to teaching practical and marketable life skills to young women in the Nashville, Davidson county areas.
"Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised." Prov. 31:30 (ESV)