BETHEL BAPTIST CHURCH
First Lady Mary J. Casper
Mary J. Casper is the third child, out of six, born to Mary L. Jones, and the late James E. Jones, Sr. of Portsmouth, Virginia. She attended school in Portsmouth Virginia and was a graduate of I.C. Norcom High School. Mary later attended Norfolk State University on a vocal music scholarship, later obtaining a BS degree in Sociology, Psychology, and an Early Childhood Education degree. She also attended Old Dominion University's technology and reading graduate studies.
1st Lady Casper is a former member of Ebenezer Baptist Church. As a young child, she served in the "Sun Shine Band" youth ministry and the Junior Choir. She later joined the Chancel Choir, the Angelic Choir, and she also served as president of the "Zoe" Missionary Ministry. Mary left Ebenezer to join her "to be" husband, Joseph G. Casper, Jr. at Zion Baptist Church in Portsmouth Virginia, where she served as a member of the Inspirational Choir, and as a Deaconess for eight years.
After marriage, Mary joined her husband, Rev. Joseph G. Casper, Jr., and became a member of Bethel Baptist Church. She initially served as a Deaconess, and later became the First Lady when her husband answered the call to become the fifth pastor of Bethel Baptist Church, Norfolk, Virginia. She is presently the directress of the BBC Inspirational Choir and advisor to the church's Women's Ministry. Pastor and First Lady Casper have been married 18 years and have four children and 5 grandchildren.
Mary taught kindergarten at Churchland Elementary School, in Portsmouth, Virginia for 21 years, and has recently retired. She states, "I touched the lives of hundreds of children, trying to instill in them the importance of honestly and trustworthiness. Even though I could not teach about God directly in the classroom, I presented my life before my students in a way that they could see God in me."