Betty Jean was born in Bishop, California and grew up on 40 acres just outside Independence, California. Her parents adopted two children as they were told they would not be able to have children of their own. Surprise! In their 40’s along came one of their own – Betty Jean! After graduating from Owens Valley High School, she attended Mt. San Antonio College (Walnut, CA) receiving a degree in Legal Secretarial Science and a certificate in floral design. Betty Jean then moved to Hollywood where she attended Bryan College of Court Reporting (Los Angeles) and began working for a Beverly Hills law firm. After two years of court reporting school she trained as a paralegal with that firm with hopes of becoming an attorney.
During this time, Betty Jean met her husband, Mark, who took her to Hollywood Presbyterian Church for their first date. Though she decided not to pursue the law degree, she worked for the same law firm for 17 years as a paralegal and office manager. After the Northridge earthquake, Betty Jean retired from the field of law.
Though she grew up in a Methodist church, Betty Jean stopped attending church during college. Of course, after meeting husband Mark, that all changed. After moving to the San Fernando Valley and attending a couple different churches over the years, the Donaldson’s visited a “new one.” On the recommendation of a youth pastor at the Northridge Foursquare Church, Betty Jean, Mark, and Liz paid a visit to The Sanctuary to meet this “awesome youth pastor” there, Pastor Marty. After more than three months of prayer, deliberation, and confirmation, the Donaldsons made The Sanctuary their home in September of 1992. Betty Jean began serving as the designer of the children’s classroom bulletin boards and has now served in various capacities including Nursery Worker, Sunday School Teacher, Bible Study Leader, Women’s Ministry Leadership Team Member, Christmas Decorator, Wedding Coordinator, Church Council Member and Interim Children’s Ministry Director. Whew! This lady has done it all . . . including joining The Sanctuary staff in 2004 as Director of Children’s Ministries, assisting Pastor Julie as she leads children’s ministries.