LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Moving to Lansing nearly 4 decades ago wasn’t an easy decision for Minister Sallie Jones.

“I fought coming here,” Sallie said.

But, it was a decision she said she’s forever grateful for. During her time in the Capital City, she’s touched so many lives through her love for music, for God and for the community.

Before moving to Lansing, Sallie and her husband, Pastor Melvin T. Jones, lived in Cincinnati. But, one thing led to another, and Pastor Jones got a formal invitation to become the Pastor at Union Missionary Baptist Church in Lansing.

Sallie said she resisted the move at first.

“The reason I didn’t want to come, I loved my position in Cincinnati. I loved teaching the elementary students and I loved the church we were at,” Sallie said.

But she grew to love Lansing, and Sallie showed her love through her many positions; whether that was in the church or the classroom.

“I was blessed to be the first Black band teacher to take a group to competition, 88 students, and get straight 1s for Dwight Ridge Middle School,” Sallie said.

At the center of all her work, has been a focus on children. One of her proudest accomplishments was creating the Mustard Seed Kids Program, a puppet ministry that’s traveled and performed across the world.

“Hundreds of puppeteers over the years. We’ve traveled all over the United States. We went to the Bahamas with the Mustard Seed Kids and to the Virgin Islands,” Sallie said.

But now, 37 years later Minister Sallie and Pastor Jones said goodbye to Lansing.

She said a city that was once so hard to move to is now so hard to leave.

“The hard part is knowing that there’s some people we’ll never see again. There’s some hugs we wont get,” Sallie said.

Keeping the faith is something Sallie said got her through many changes in her own life.

Now, her and Pastor Jones are entering a new chapter, moving to Alabama to be closer to family.

Sallie has this departing message for the city she said has given her so much.

“I just want to thank Lansing quite honestly. I thank God first for sending us to Lansing. It was a wonderful place to raise our children… We will always be keeping them, keeping Lansing, and especially Union in prayer because this has truly been a rich experience for us,” Sallie said.