“When I first started, I experienced loneliness,” says first lady Savalla Tanner McLeod. “It was loneliness from other women who had husbands in ministry, who could relate.”
New to Los Angeles since Bishop T. Larry Kirkland reassigned her husband, Rev. Gregory Keith McLeod, to Brookins Community AME church, Savalla says overcoming that challenge early on helped smooth out her families spontaneous move across the country.
“I’m pretty flexible. When I married my husband I knew we’d move around, so I wasn’t surprised,” says the mother of two boys, five and eight. “And everyone has been extremely nice. I’m grateful for that.”
Only two months ago, the young couple uprooted from Ward Chapel A.M.E. Church in St. Louis, Missouri, where they served for one year. Previously, they were based in Birmingham, Alabama, where she was raised and met her husband.
Savalla brings with her a strong belief in the power of intercessory prayer and credits Mrs. Mary Kirkland for reaching out to her when she was first adjusting to life as a preacher’s wife.
“She really has a heart for young pastor’s wives to show us and teach us things not just of the church, but in our personal lives like planning for retirement and owning your own home.”
She says the greatest lesson learned is that humbleness goes a long way.
“As long as I’m doing things for God I try not to see what other people want me to be, I only can be who I am and that’s what God made me.”