Impacting Generations

By First Dallas Staff

Wayne and Zenith Cherry’s story began at First Baptist Dallas over five decades ago. Zenith recalls meeting Wayne on their way to a Sunday evening Training Union meeting in 1970 with a smile, saying, “We talked, and one thing led to another. We got to be more than best friends and got married.” Three years after their marriage in First Baptist Dallas Truett Chapel, they began raising their daughter, Kristen, in the church. 

The Cherry’s involvement in the Children’s Ministry started in a seemingly small but life-changing moment. Mrs. Cherry vividly remembers, “Our daughter was three years old when the Sunday School Director at the time, Frances Lord, approached me about volunteering in the preschool department.” Little did they know this decision would shape their lives and the lives of countless families for the next 45 years.

From the very start, the Cherrys committed themselves wholeheartedly to their Sunday School class. Wayne became known for his warm and personal approach, kneeling down to greet each child at eye level as they entered their classroom on Sunday mornings. Zenith explains how every Sunday, “We would sing our little songs, and we had special ways of teaching Bible verses. We would put one word of the Bible verse on each card, pass out the cards, and they would get to put the right word under each card.”

Their dedication and love for the children did not go unnoticed. The Minister to Preschoolers and Children, Shelly Taylor, reflects on their impact, saying, “It has been my joy to serve with them for 20 of those years. These precious servants of the Lord have given their lives to serve boys and girls, moms and dads every Sunday year after year.”

Shelly continues, “They have been faithful in attending Leadership Meetings and growing and learning as they served. They have diligently prepared the Bible content and supplies, carefully placing them in each of the learning centers to teach their pre-k children. They consistently text their children and families each week to check on them and let them know what they will be learning in their class the following Sunday.”

The Cherrys have seen generations of families pass through their care, each one leaving an indelible mark on their hearts. Zenith shares, “One of my favorite aspects of serving is meeting people. We have encountered families who brought their children to our class, whom we would have never met if it weren’t for this ministry.”

As they prepare to retire from their volunteer position, Mr. and Mrs. Cherry leave behind a legacy that inspires us all. Shelly summarizes, “Hundreds of children and families have been impacted by the ministry of Wayne and Zenith Cherry. What a blessing they have been to me personally, to our Kids Cove Ministry, and to the entire body of Christ at First Baptist Dallas.”

Wayne and Zenith Cherry’s story of faithful service, dedication of their time, and teaching Jesus’ name to young children reminds us of the profound rewards of serving others, as exemplified by 1 Corinthians 15:58, “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”

Their advice for those considering service? “God has a place for all of us,” Wayne affirms. “Pray about it and see where God leads you.” Their story inspires us to find our own place to serve within the church, knowing that each act of service, no matter how small, can make a lasting impact.

We want to celebrate all that the Lord has done in your lives! Share your story with us by emailing