August 22, 2014

Elyria
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15 Minutes: Meet church Treasurer Cynthia Purnell

Cynthia Purnell
Age: 57
Lives: Elyria
Pursuit: Church treasurer

You’re involved with a church?

Yes, the Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church, right here on West River. The pastor of Mount Zion is Marcettes Cunningham.

In what capacity?

I’m the treasurer. I’m responsible for the total operation of the church from contributions, to church spending, financing and strategic church planning. I’m a member of the Usher Board and also a member of the Ladies Zionites. I have a staff of four to help me.

It seems like it has been two years since you dedicated your new church?

At least two years, and we’re getting excited about building a couple of more phases onto the church. Next Sunday, April 15, is the 92nd anniversary of being Mount Zion Baptist Church. We’re hoping you will see an education wing, a nice parking lot, a new kitchen, we’re thinking of big things here.

If any youngster wants to do what you do, what should they know or study?

It’s a good idea to have an accounting background — it’s not only for businesses — but the church has accounting functions they need to comply with. A tax background and accounting would be very helpful.

When you’re not involved in the church, what other activities do you do?

I have a full schedule in my full-time employment with RTA — Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority — as a supervisor/manager of accounting. I like to read. I love shopping. I have seven grandkids and I enjoy being with them and my two children, Lawana Simmons, she’s in Macedonia and has a daycare business and is an accountant, and a stepson Dujuan Purnell who is an active member of the military in Washington, D.C., making a career out of the Army, in the medical field, studying to be a doctor.

Anything else?

In the future I have an interest and goal to help bring transportation back to the area. I’m in the transportation area now, and I feel I can bring some things to the table now — bus, cab, whatever — back to the area. I think Lorain County should get some funds to bring back better transportation to our area.

Chronicle photographer Chuck Humel shines the spotlight on the people of Lorain County each week. Know someone worthy of 15 Minutes? E-mail chumel@chroniclet.com.

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