There are few things I dislike more than talking about myself, but I know I want to know the educational and theological background of anyone I read or learn from who teaches the Bible.
My mother was Mennonite; my father was Catholic. I attended both churches with extended family for many years and I cherish both traditions. When I was growing up we were a military family and moved constantly. I never started or finished a school year in the same school through all of grade school.
From my earliest days, we always went to church, I knew about Jesus and was strongly influenced by a godly grandmother, but my faith had a large component of fear. I remember ending my childhood prayers every night with, “Dear God, please let me go to heaven when I die and not to hell.”
That changed when I was in sixth grade and we were stationed at Ft. Ord, CA. We were attending a little church in Marina, CA. One summer at that little church they had a Child Evangelism Club for a week, and the reality that Jesus came to save me forever finally made sense. I asked Jesus to be my Savior, and never again did I worry about what would happen to me when I died. I knew I’d go to heaven to be with Jesus.
When my father retired from the military we moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado where we attended a solid, Bible-teaching Presbyterian church. From 3rd grade on (when I started teaching kindergarteners), I always taught a Sunday School class and when I was a sophomore in high school, our youth group leaders moved away, and no one wanted to run the group. I said, “I think I can do that” and went on to do youth ministry and teaching for many years.
I was heavily involved with the Navigator ministry in college as well as InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. The Navigator emphasis on studying the Bible, sharing your faith in practical ways, and integrating life and ministry had a tremendous influence on my life. Living in Colorado Springs, I had the privilege of learning from some of the founders of the Navigator ministry, LeRoy Eims, Jerry Bridges, and others who spoke to and led our college group.
Educationally I have degrees in English, Education, plus an additional major in history. I have a master’s degree in History, focusing on church history. I’ve done additional graduate work in Communications and have attended seminary. I briefly taught at a Catholic high school and a Jesuit university.
My husband was a bi-vocational pastor for many years, and we ministered at Baptist, non-denominational, and Presbyterian Churches. A number of these were Purpose-Driven churches. In these settings, I served as an adult Sunday School teacher and did communications and other supporting ministries for my husband’s work.
At the same time, I started my church communications ministry, Effective Church Communications and for over 20 years traveled all over North America (I do it all online now) teaching church communication seminars to every imaginable denomination. A secular company sponsored the seminars, but I had total control over the content of the seminars. They were advertised to the entire church audience wherever I taught, and a huge variety of churches showed up. In discussions, interactions, and looking at their materials, I got to know and love the broad variety of expressions in the Body of Christ. From this experience, I sometimes have referred to myself as a walking ecumenical council.
We now live in Ventura, California, and attend a non-denominational church, where I am an adult Bible class teacher and small group co-leader with my husband. I also create Bible-focused podcasts, videos, and blogs for my online ministry, www.Bible805.com.
More about the various components of the ministry are in the About Bible805.