Youth director Frazer back home in Selma

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 10, 2004

Native Selmian Candice Burk Frazer is back home in Selma. She had been working as a director of youth ministry at Trinity Episcopal Church in Florence, for a year and a half.

She returned to Selma with her husband Steve to join the staff of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church as director of youth ministry for the parish. Her full-time duties began on Aug. 1.

Frazer, who is a child of St. Paul’s, is a graduate of Selma High School, attended Loyola University and graduated from the University of Alabama with a bachelor’s degree.

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Her major was psychology with a minor in history and philosophy.

She worked for a time at what is now Vaughan Regional Medical Center in the geropsychiatric unit before it was closed and then for Cahaba Hospice as a social worker.

Since the late 1990s she has been a volunteer in youth ministry at St. Paul’s.

After completing her college work, she married Steve Frazer who returned to Selma to work for his father’s insurance and investment firm, the Frazer Group.

Candice Frazer has a sense of being deeply rooted in Selma.

“I feel connected to the very soil of Selma,” she said. “It’s deeper even than buildings and people. It’s the soil. I am deeply committed to what Selma has been and will become. When you leave Selma you have difficulty flowering anywhere else. When I told the vestry in Florence that I was returning to Selma to be youth ministry director at St. Paul’s, the pastor Tim Murphy who was a former youth minister at St. Paul’s, said he would come to Selma and bring dirt back to Florence if I would stay. But I couldn’t,” she said. “I had to return to Selma and St. Paul’s.”

“All of us at St. Paul’s feel so blessed to have Candice and Steve back with us,” said the Rev. Polk Van Zandt, rector of St. Paul’s.

“I’m amazed at what’s already been done. She’s organized the parents and the youth, and even though her primary assignment is working with youth, she is also working with our young adults – single and married. We are developing a group

ages 20-40 to learn, grow and share with one another,” he said.

Van Zandt also noted that she is working in the Youth Department of the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama in a volunteer capacity.

Frazer is very committed to youth and young adult mission outreach. Between her leaving Florence and coming back to Selma this summer, she and Van Zandt and others traveled on a mission trip to Trinidad and Tobago off the coast of South America.

This fall, for the month of October, a “Pumpkin Patch” is planned for the parish’s outdoor courtyard facing on Lauderdale Street, called Hammond Clos.

Some 1,800-4,000 pumpkins, along with gourds and other vegetables,

have been ordered from a Navajo reservation, Frazer said. The Pumpkin Patch will offer an opportunity for field trips for area schools, she said. Students can come and enjoy the pumpkins, gourds and other vegetables on display, along with storytelling and other activities, she said.

The program is being sponsored also by the Selma-Dallas County Public Library, with special activities for children at 4 p.m. every afternoon in October, Monday through Friday, she said.

Proceeds from the sale of pumpkins and other items on display will be divided between St. Paul’s Little Friends School and St. Paul’s youth group.

The Pumpkin Patch will be open daily, Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., from Oct. 4 through the end of the month. Additional hours will be on Sundays, noon to 7 p.m., she said.

“We see the Pumpkin Patch as a way of connecting St. Paul’s to the community. We see it as mission outreach, offering stories, activities, fun for folks living in Selma,” Frazer said.

The Frazers had lived in Steve Frazer’s grandparent’s home on Broad Street before they left to go to Florence for the year-and-a-half stint there when Candice served on on the staff of Trinity Episcopal Church.


I officially began at St. Paul’s, people knew we had come back,” said Frazer. “They saw our dogs in the front yard. We had put the house on the market when we moved, but it didn’t sell. We’re so happy to be living in it again,” she said.