Betty Tew said that prayer is the most precious gift she’s getting right now, along with hugs from people she’s known as well as complete strangers.
“There’s so many things you go through,” she said today in a phone interview.
Tew lost her husband last week, buried him Sunday and lost her home early Monday morning.
“We’re going to make it,” she said.
Tew praised the people of her congregation as well as the New South River Baptist Association for stepping up during this trying time for her and her family.
“You couldn’t ask them to have been any better,” she said of their generosity. “People have been just amazing. People I don’t even know.”
Yesterday, Tew had a church friend bring clothes and take her to get glasses. The outpouring of offers started coming in early, according to Lisa King, secretary of Second Baptist Church in Fayetteville, where Tew’s husband was pastor the last couple of years.
“God is really working,” King said. “Through all this (Betty Tew has been) a very strong person. That’s an inspiration to see.”
Tew’s husband, Lawrence, died Feb. 19, and the family buried him Feb. 22. Early the next morning, smoke woke Tew who escaped the house fire in her nightgown and more importantly, with her daughter and son-in-law.
Her cell phone, eyeglasses, credit cards and other important information and mementos were destroyed within a matter of hours. Some photos, edges singed, survived.
A column in the Fayetteville Observer on Tuesday said the couple had lived in the house 17 years. The same day, two checks arrived from people within the community.
Tew said she will stay with her parents until her apartment is furnished. She is planning to rebuild in the same spot.
“God is sustaining her,” King said.
Lawrence Edward Tew, 67, had been pastor at Second Baptist for a couple of years but had been sick for a while. He suffered a second heart attack in 2008 and had open heart surgery in August 2008 and had been in and out of the hospital since then.
Ordained in 1963 at Immanuel Baptist Church, Tew had also pastored Providence and Cumberland Baptist churches in Fayetteville and Wade Baptist Church in Wade.
A member of Cape Fear Valley Medical Center’s Friends of the Heart Center board of directors, Tew was also chairman of the Zipper Club of Cape Fear Valley Medical Center and was on the evangelism committee of New South River Baptist Association.
He is survived by his wife, Betty J. Tew of Eastover; daughter, Vicki T. Vance of Corinth, Ky.; son, Kevin Dean Tew of Sanford; four sisters, Lois Croom of Fayetteville, Evelyn Lashley of Sunset Harbor, Bonnie Woods of Illinois and Barbara Hurley of Maryland; four brothers, John Tew, James Earl Tew and Clarence Tew, all of Fayetteville, and James N. Tew Jr. of Wilmington; and two grandsons.
Memorials to the Baptist Children’s Home, P.O. Box 338, Thomasville, NC 27361-0338.
To help Betty Tew, contact Second Baptist Church, 522 Person St., Fayetteville, NC 28301-5868, or (910) 483-6690.