Motivated parents and grandparents inspired Mary McAllister to set high education and career goals. She is the oldest of eight children and was born and reared in the Old Wilmington Road area of Fayetteville. She married to Mr. Freddie McAllister and they have two adult children Delvin and Shanda. A diploma from E.E. Smith Senior High preceded a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from Fayetteville State University and later a Master of Science in Education Administration and Supervision from East Carolina University. In 2002, she was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctors of Humane Letters from Fayetteville State University.
After twenty-one years of teaching elementary students she made a bold move and switched careers. Motivated by a child in her second grade class with sickle cell anemia, a group of students from Terry Sanford High and a sense of duty for her fellow man she founded Operation Sickle Cell, Inc., which last year was renamed Community Health Interventions and Sickle Cell Agency, Inc.,. Since 1971, Mary McAllister has served as the Executive Director of Community Health Interventions and Sickle Cell Agency, Inc.
Mrs. McAllister’s political career began when she was twice elected to the Cumberland County Board of Commissioners having the distinction of being the first African American serving as Chairman. She again penetrated the ceiling of public service by becoming a member of the Cumberland County Legislative Delegation in the North Carolina General Assembly where she served nine terms. Representative McAllister’s advocacy for Fayetteville State University and North Carolina’s other Historically Black College and Universities is well known among her peers. She was the first FSU graduate to serve as a member of the County Board of Commissioners and in the North Carolina General Assembly. McAllister’s unique blend of grace, strength, and leadership has made her a formidable elected official able to successfully work both sides of the political aisle.
Mary McAllister is a committed Christian who attends Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist Church. She has numerous memberships, professional affiliations, honors and awards. Mary McAllister is an amazing community leader who has accomplished much humanity she is a shining example of hard work and a sense of duty turned into passion and ultimate triumph.