By Mike McClure

The Greater Delmar Chamber of Commerce recently announced Marilyn Searcey as the 2024 Delmar Citizen of the Year Searcey, a pastor at Renovate Church and an adjunct social work instructor at Salisbury University, will be honored at the Citizen of the Year banquet on May 21.

“It’s a little overwhelming. It’s definitely not something I expected,” said Searcey, who has lived in Delmar since she was eight years old. “It’s very humbling. There’s so many awesome people here. It’s a pretty amazing community to be a part of.”

Marilyn Searcey

Serving as a pastor allows Searcey an opportunity to connect with her congregation as well as community church partners and neighbors, through the church’s food pantry. The pantry is open every Monday night and serves 50-75 households, including some that do not have a home.

“The ministry of Renovate Church is a great passion of mine,” she said. As for the food pantry, she says she partners with too many community organizations to mention in an effort to minister to the needs of the community. Some of those organizations are the town’s police department, fire department, library, town hall, schools, chamber of commerce, businesses, churches, and many others.

“There’s so many different partners that we get to partner with. That’s what I really love, partnerships in the community helping to meet the needs of the people,” said Searcey. “We can’t do it by ourselves. We absolutely need each other.”

Marilyn and her husband, Robert, have three children, two boys and a girl, and four grandchildren. She is looking forward to seeing family and friends at the banquet,

“Not everybody gets that opportunity to hear those things (speeches at banquet). I feel so blessed,” she said. “There’s no way that one person by themselves has the impact in the community without having people along side them. In my mind I am just representing all the people that are with me. I’m representing Christ in the world. He’s given us this little corner of the world to make a difference.”

Searcey says she sees a lot people who are suffering. She tries to love them through their troubles and give them hope.

“Christ compels us to love people where they are. It’s what we’re called to do,” Searcey said. “Every person has been given strengths and abilities and talents. I want to see people for their strengths.”

Searcey said the Delmar community embodies the following scripture in its celebrations of successes and rallies in times of need: “Rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn.”

Like many recipients of the Delmar Citizen of the Year award, Marilyn is not comfortable in the spotlight, but she is thankful for the recognition.

“I’m very, very grateful, very very thankful,” said Searcey. “I see this as really just an opportunity to be able to know my community better and serve the community more. I am just praying that it’s an opportunity to serve more.”

A banquet honoring Searcey will be held on Tuesday, May 21 at the Delmar VFW on State Street in Delmar. Tickets are $22 per person and must be purchased in advance for admission to the banquet – there will be no tickets available at the door. Doors will open at 6:15 p.m. with the banquet to begin at 6:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased by contacting Lisa Lloyd Ellis at 410-742-9401. Deadline for purchasing tickets will be Wednesday, May 15.