Betty M. Hockett
Barclay Press books
One day in 1938, an eight-year-old named Betty May Street (later Hockett) sat at her desk in La Grande, Oregon. Her pen properly filled with blue ink from a fat little bottle, she applied her best penmanship to the lined pages before her as she began to write a book. Later, the book abandoned, she branched out to write recipes and a neighborhood newspaper.
Fortunately, the recipes did not make it as far as the kitchen, because she knew nothing about cooking. It’s also good that the newspaper articles did not move beyond the pencil tablet, since she made up all of the news.
Out of these meager beginnings, God called her to be a writer. She remembers, “I didn’t, however, recognize that call at first—not when I finished writing class assignments in high school, at Pacific College and George Fox College, not even when I began to write regularly for publication.” One day it dawned on her: “God has called me to the ministry of writing as surely as he ever called a pastor or a missionary.” She chose Psalm 45:17 as her writing verse: I will make Your name to be remembered in all generations (NKJ).
Throughout the writing of 16 books, Christian education curriculum, stories, poems, devotionals and more, she held that verse as her goal. To this day it remains her intention.
More than fifty years ago, her husband, Gene, started her down this ministry path with a $50 Christmas gift—a lot of money in those years—for a Christian writing correspondence course. From there, God provided opportunities for writing assignments and freelance writing, a rewarding vocation. Gene and their three children generously allowed space and time for her to follow the call to the ministry of writing.
Proverbs 3:6 promises, In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.” Betty declares, “God directed me along delightful, fulfilling paths I could not have found by myself, paths that led to friendships around the world and ministry opportunities in places that little girl in La Grande didn’t know existed.”
Betty and her husband live in Friendsview Retirement Community. They enjoy three grown children, four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.