I have always wanted to help people and to care for them. As a middle school student, I tutored elementary students in our community. Every summer I was a candy striper at the local hospital. Since high school, my career has been in customer service.
Although my family of origin was traditionally Baptist and Pentecostal, my family began to attend a Mennonite church because my daughter’s friends attended the Mennonite church. My extended family thought this was weird: Black & Mennonite didn’t compute.
Soon, our church introduced a new Associate Pastor. I began to sense that I was supposed to work with him. I had a full-time career, but I kept having this tug. I kept saying, “No thanks God, I am fine.”
Then one night I had a dream: I was attempting to walk across a lake and as I took a step, a turtle would pop up for me to step on. As far as I looked, I saw no turtles, but when I placed my foot out, a turtle would appear to guide me across the lake.
I felt like God was saying he would provide. Through more prayer, God encouraged me to talk to the Associate Pastor. I believed God and trusted that the Associate Pastor would have the rest. Who was I that God would speak to me about serving in a church?
The Associate Pastor responded, “Praise God, you are an answer to a prayer.” However, the church had never paid for office assistance before. I thought, “Ok, thanks, I tried. Have a nice day.” Problem solved.
Yet, the church called me to an interview. I was curious as to why God didn’t lead me to talk to the Lead Pastor, so during the interview process I apologized to the Lead Pastor that I didn’t come to him, but I felt that I was specifically supposed to work with the Associate Pastor. The Lead Pastor then informed me, confidentially, that he was retiring. I am still amazed by the love of God to gently woo me into service.
The family, board, and church affirmed me to serve as Director of Operations. The Lead pastor retired and the Associate Pastor became Lead Pastor and soon hired an Assistant Pastor and Youth Pastor.
While serving with these pastors, they often highlighted my gifts and encouraged a call to ministry. They allowed me to lead and participate in many pastoral functions. Eventually, after some pastoral transitions, the church and my family anointed me to serve as Youth Pastor.
In 2017, I completed the S.T.E.P. (Study and Training for Effective Pastoral Ministry) program through EMU. I was the Youth Pastor and co-led our Youth Mentoring Program. In 2018 I completed Stephen Ministry Leadership Training and trained 18 Stephen Ministers as I led our Pastoral Care program. In May 2022, I will complete my EMU Certification as a Spiritual Companion.
In each position I have been able to serve more, love more, give more, and grow more. This is my call.
My call journey has been a progression. I didn’t wake up one day and know that I was going to be Pastor of 7 Ways Home Fellowship and Leadership Development Associate with Mosaic Conference. God has always told me to put one foot in front of the other, and I will be supported by God each step.
I am grateful that I am part of this beautiful Mosaic Community. Trust that your turtles are there; just keep moving forward!