Today in OPC History

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April 23

Millie Quinette

A charter member of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Millie Quinette was president of the Women’s Auxiliary of the Presbytery of Ohio, a precursor to Women’s Presbyterial, on this date in 1960 when forty women met at Faith OPC in Harrisville, Pennsylvania. Fifty-one years later in 2011 Millie, then 86, spoke at the OPC’s 75th anniversary celebration. Her years of service to the OPC far exceeded expectations in the years after her birth on a farm near Harrisville on October 25, 1925. Millie suffered from Saint Vitus Dance, a chronic neurological condition that gave her jerky, uncoordinated movements in her hands, arms, and later her speech. Her parents were told that she would never drive a car nor probably marry. “I did both and much more by God’s grace,” Millie delights in saying.

When she was 10, Millie remembers her pastor, Robert Atwell, asking his congregation to consider joining the newly formed Orthodox Presbyterian Church. Millie’s family became charter members in 1936. A heart condition forced Millie to withdraw from high school so she helped Pastor Atwell organize youth programs and teach Bible school. For youth group, she often joined Atwell in his car as he picked up teens, some of whom rode in the open trunk while others stood on the fenders. She worked in the kitchen at Grove City College and took a course from Moody Bible Institute. At a Wednesday prayer meeting, Millie met Edward Quinette, a visitor from Covenant OPC in Pittsburgh. After a short courtship, Millie and Ed married on July 8, 1955.

Living in Pittsburgh, the Quinettes raised a foster son, Richard, from age 6 through college. Worshipping at Covenant OPC, they hosted the entire church in their backyard every Fourth of July. Twice Millie served as president of the presbytery’s Women’s Auxiliary. After fifty years of marriage, the Lord called Ed home on December 19, 2005. Two years later her church was partially destroyed by fire. When Covenant’s leadership decided to join a PCA congregation, Millie opted to form Redeemer OPC Mission in Pittsburgh. Although Millie, 92, longed to stay in the OPC after Redeemer dissolved in 2016, she also wanted local sessional oversight. After eighty-two years of faithful service in the OPC, Millie is joining a PCA congregation until the Lord calls her home.

Pat Lowry wrote more about Millie Quinette in the newly published book, Choosing the Good Portion: Women of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, which is available on OPC.ORG here.

Picture: Ed and Millie Quinette on their wedding day on July 8, 1955.

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