beth-templeton-our-eyes-were-opened

Beth Lindsay Templeton, Founder and CEO of Our Eyes Were Opened, Inc. is a public speaker, Presbyterian Church USA minister, and writer. For almost thirty years, she was at United Ministries, a non-profit in Greenville, South Carolina, where she worked with both “the have-nots” and “the haves.” Since 2012, she has focused on a ministry with “the haves” so they can enlarge their understanding about people who live in poverty in order to decrease judgment and increase compassion.

Beth works with congregations, schools, universities, medical facilities, civic groups, and businesses in Greenville and around the country. She is the author of seven books: Loving Our Neighbor: A Thoughtful Approach to Helping People in Poverty, Understanding Poverty in the Classroom: Changing Perceptions for Student Success, Conversations on the Porch: Ancient Voices-Contemporary Wisdom, A Coat Named Mr. Spot, More Conversations on the Porch, Angelika’s Journal, and Refrigerator Prayers for Ordinary People. She is the poverty expert in a 5-part DVD series titled Servant or Sucker.

Beth is a graduate of Presbyterian College and Erskine Theological Seminary. She and her husband have three married sons and five grandchildren.

Education:

  • Presbyterian College, BA Mathematics, summa cum laude
  • Erskine Theological Seminary, M.Div., with honors

Involvement with and advocacy for the “have nots” and “the haves”

  • Founder and CEO of Our Eyes Were Opened, Inc.
  • Executive Director of United Ministries (1983-2007)
  • Committees of: United Way, Vision 2025 for Greenville, SC, and Greenville Forward
  • Riley Institute Diversity Leadership Academy inaugural class
  • Helped develop or was a charter member for:
    • Project which built 68 units of housing for senior citizens/ people with disabilities
    • Free medical clinic
    • Coalition of organizations that work with people who are homeless
    • Agency focused on child care issues
    • Program for women who were addicted and/or prostitutes
    • School for adults 8th grade-GED
    • Program to help adults get and keep permanent jobs
    • Day shelter for people who are homeless
    • Greenville Housing Network

Minister and Presbytery Leader:

  • Ordination: Presbyterian Church, U.S.A
  • Temporary pulpit supply for variety of congregations in order to meet their specific needs
  • Various committees of Foothills Presbytery
  • Furman University Volunteer Chaplain for Presbyterian Students

Consultant and Teacher:

  • Bible Study Leader for Circle #4 at Fourth Presbyterian Church (2000-Present)
  • National, regional, local workshop and retreat leader
  • Consultant/coach for other nonprofits
  • Keynote speaker
  • Teacher and presenter in congregations, classrooms, corporations, and the community

Writer:

  • Refrigerator Prayers for Ordinary People: Conversations with God about the Details of Lifehttps://www.createspace.com/4906363
  • Angelika’s Journal: What You Can Do About Poverty and Homelessness (avenidabooks, 2014)
  • More Conversations on the Porch: (iUniverse, 2014)
  • Why Is That Child So Rude?” Educational Leadership, May 2013, Vol. 70 No. 8, www.ascd.org
  • A Coat Named Mr. Spot (Avenida Press, 2013)
  • Conversations on the Porch: Ancient Voices-Contemporary Wisdom, (iUniverse, 2011)
  • Understanding Poverty in the Classroom: (Rowman and Littlefield, 201l)
  • Loving Our Neighbor: A Thoughtful Approach to Helping People in Poverty (iUniverse, 2008)
  • In Our In Our Own Words: editor and contributor: A compilation of newsletter articles and a history of United Ministries Articles in religious magazines and newspapers

Awards:

  • Presbyterian College Dum Vivimus Servimus Award 2015
  • South Carolina’s Order of the Silver Crescent, 2014
  • Women Making History (The Greenville Making History Cultural Exchange Center, 2010)
  • Coretta Scott King DreamKeeper Award: 2009
  • Dream Achiever- YWCA: 2008
  • Service Award for Professional Excellence (Rotary Centennial: 2005)
  • League of Women Voters Honoree: 2005
  • Commander’s Appreciation Award (Post 3 Goodfellows Club: 2005)
  • American Association of University Women Honoree: 2001
  • Vocational Service Award (North Greenville Rotary Club: 1998
  • R. Cooper White Humanitarian Award (Greenville County Human Relations Commission: 1993)
  • Distinguished Service Award (Greenville Lions: 1988, Greenville Jaycees: 1989)