A photo in the June/July 1993 issue of New Horizons shows twenty-seven men, women, and children who first attended Covenant OPC in Reading, Pennsylvania, through the invitation of Joan Savoy. A physical therapist at a hospital, Joan had befriended a social worker and invited her to church. Fifteen months later the social worker confessed Christ and joined. Joan’s brother and sister-in-law were among nineteen who confessed Christ and became members of Covenant OPC through Joan’s encouragement in the 1990s. Another ten of Joan’s coworkers, friends, and family were already believers when Joan invited them to Covenant, where they, too, found a church home. What helped to set these events in motion occurred a decade earlier on this date in 1983 when Joan herself became a believer, asking for God’s forgiveness and relying on Christ’s finished work.
At that time, Joan, who had grown up Catholic in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania, was studying physical therapy at the University of Pittsburgh. After graduating in 1984, she moved to Reading where she worked in a hospital, volunteered for a youth ministry, and first attended Covenant OPC. Joan met Rich Savoy, an IBM salesperson who volunteered with CRU, a campus ministry at Albright College. He, too, started to attend Covenant. They married on September 10, 1988, with OP pastor David O’Leary officiating. Soon the Savoy’s took Albright students to worship at Covenant, led Bible studies, and trained CRU members. God used her passion for developing relationships with others to introduce many unbelievers to Christ.
The Savoy’s faith was challenged when Rich was diagnosed with a brain tumor, which after surgery was found to be benign. God used this trial to impact their son Nate’s swim team at Penn State. Their testimony of trusting God even in the hard times was published in Swimming World (March 2015). The Savoy’s now teach English as a Second Language at Covenant. And, of course, Joan still invites folks to worship at Covenant.
Read more about Joan Savoy, written by Anita Klumpers, in the newly published book, Choosing the Good Portion: Women of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, which is available on OPC.ORG here.
Picture: Joan Savoy (center) and family