I was raised by God-fearing parents who both came to a saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ shortly before I was born. At the age of 2, I moved with my parents to a small town in Oklahoma. It was here that we began to attend a local church that taught, partnered with and encouraged my parents to be the primary disciplers of their children.
Through my parents and the preschool ministry, the Lord began to draw me to Himself. When I was 6 years old, my mom came in to read me a Bible story before bed. I told her that I wanted to be Jesus’ friend. She very wisely asked many open-ended questions to understand what I might have meant by such a declaration. In the words of a young child, I explained that I had done bad things (sin), that Jesus had died on the cross so I could be God’s friend, and if I said I was sorry, I could be forgiven through Jesus. Although this was an elementary understanding of the gospel, I do clearly remember praying with my mother that night, repenting of my sin, and I know that this is when the Lord saved me.
In 5th grade, while attending a children’s camp with my church, God began to deepen my understanding of the gospel. The camp pastor emphasized that having a relationship with God does not begin when we die but through loving and trusting Jesus Christ now on earth. I knew I had a relationship with God, but up until this point in life I was unclear on how to engage in that relationship in this earthly life. This was the year that I began reading my Bible. I began with the Gospel of Mark and just kept reading book after book. I was amazed at how I felt the Lord’s presence as I read and how through reading His Word, I was convicted of sin; yet, through Jesus Christ, my Savior, there was forgiveness.
By God’s grace, I was able to attend Oklahoma State University, where I earned my degree in Human Development and Family Science with an emphasis in Child and Family Services. It was through this degree, my continued service in preschool and children’s ministries, and my testimony of the Lord saving me at such a young age, that God began to make clear that He had called me to vocational preschool and children’s ministry.
After college, I attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, graduating with my Master of Arts in Christian Education (MACE) with an emphasis in preschool and childhood ministry. It was here that I met and married my best friend and husband, Jared. We have been blessed with two miracles: Jordan Steven and Joshua Michael.
Hope for The Village Church
My hope is that we would be a church body partnering with parents as the primary disciplers of children for the glory of God, inviting children into the gospel-centered rhythms and practices of the church body each time they are in our care.