People in Iola may not be aware, but they’ve most likely spoken to Kara Godfrey. “City Administrator’s office, this is Kara, how may I help you,” is Godfrey’s routine welcome as she answers phone calls to City of Iola administrative offices.
As administrative assistant, Godfrey helps run things from behind the scenes.
“This is a place I’ll work until I retire,” Godfrey said, who has worked as the administrative assistant since 2010. “I love that it’s not the same thing every day. I can’t do repetition.”
Her duties include answering the phones, organizing Carl Slaugh’s, city administrator, and Corey Schinstock’s, assistant city administrator, calendars, prepare for meetings and keep track of department heads’ schedules.
“I do a little bit of everything,” she said.
Godfrey said her favorite part of the job is to take care of things for Channel 6, a new responsibility since she took the position.
“I get to use the creative side of it and keep it running,” she said of the TV program.
But that’s not the only title on her resume. Godfrey has two other full-time jobs, preacher’s wife and being a mother of two.
She grew up in Iola and lived in the same house from the time she was born until she was 18. Shortly after graduating from high school she married her husband, Tony. She attended Allen Community College and while still in school became pregnant with their first child, Kayton, who is now 11. She made the decision to stay at home with her child while Tony attended Shepherd’s School of Ministry.
“The weekend that Tony graduated we got a phone call from a church in Whitehouse, Texas, asking him to be their full-time pastor,” Godfrey said.
The family moved in August of 2004. At the church, the family faced many struggles including a fire at the church that was arson.
“We had a great church family there,” Godfrey said. “It was a huge learning experience for us.”
Especially meaningful for the Godfreys was their relationship with two parishioners, Mason and Deidre.
“They were both in high school and Tony and I helped disciple them,” she said.
The two later married and moved to Iola in 2013 to help the Godfreys at Harvest Baptist Church, where Tony took on in 2009. Mason and Deidre Wilson are in charge of ministering the youth group.
“It’s great to see the fruit that your bore grow here,” Godfrey said.
While in Texas they had their son, Kale, now 7.
At church Kara helps with the women’s study, teaches children’s church and helps disciple and counsel.
“That’s my heartbeat,” she said. “Helping individuals grow closer to Christ. Seeing that people are growing with the Lord is important. We don’t focus on numbers a lot.”
Family is an important part of Kara’s life. On Sundays after church they try to get together and watch a football game or have dinner with their extended family, all of whom live in the area. With her busy schedule she still finds time to enjoy her free time.
“I love going on walks, riding bikes and being outside,” she said. “I also like to decorate or go to garage sales.”
Iola has a special place in Godfrey’s heart.
“I like the community feel,” she said. “Your kids can go outside to play and you feel comfortable. We can’t see us going anywhere else. We want our kids to grow up here.”
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