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It’s been over sixty years, but Rev. Judy Skaggs still remembers being in awe of Presbyterian Mo-Ranch Assembly when she first visited as an 11-year-old.

“It was beautiful with the river and trees – very different from West Texas,” she said.

Originally from Eldorado, Skaggs’ inaugural trip to Mo-Ranch was in 1956 to attend Mo’s Music and Worship conference.

“When I was 11-years-old, I started playing the piano in worship in my home church, First Presbyterian Church in Eldorado,” she said. “The choir director, Maxine Page had been to the very first Music and Worship conference in 1955.”

The next year, Page brought Skaggs and another choir member to the same conference.

“I loved all the tile work in the buildings. We stayed in Loma Linda. I loved the catwalk and kitty walk. It was a fun, almost magical place,” she said.
That initial visit kickstarted a decades-long relationship with Mo.

Over the years, Skaggs worked on the children’s program staff, attended several Women’s Conferences, preached a Singles Conference, Youth Mid-Winters and Family Systems Conferences. She even met her future husband — Harold Skaggs — at Mo-Ranch.

Skaggs also is a member of the Guadalupe Gathering, a volunteer group that does everything from helping with landscaping work to hand addressing envelopes and wrapping silverware for the Thanksgiving buffet.
There are so many memories at Mo. When I drive onto the property, I feel at home,” she said.

In 1994, Skaggs, who has four children and six grandchildren, became an ordained minister. She was a minister for almost 20 years before retiring in 2011. She now serves as a parish associate at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Austin.

In her free time, Skaggs plays the organ and piano at worship services and events. When she retired, she learned how to play the cello.
“That has been quite an adventure,” she said.

Skaggs also knits and enjoys completing jigsaw puzzles.

“During the COVID-19 isolation, I have worked lots of jigsaw puzzles. I have been preaching more than usual in the retirement center where I live since we cannot bring in outside preachers for our Sunday afternoon vespers,” she said.

Skaggs believes Mo-Ranch is a place to hear God’s voice.

“Just come to Mo-Ranch, explore the buildings and the trails,” she said. “Let the place speak to you of God’s goodness and grace.”

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