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July 2014 • Helping Good Pastors Do Better Things: Reflections from Susan Lackey

July 1, 2014

     I felt God had called me for His service and prayed earnestly that He would teach me. He delivered me to Mount Olive College for a Bachelor of Science in Religion. I was fortunate to have been able to participate in the Modular program at the New Bern Campus as a member of MRM #11. We studied four hours every Thursday. This was a valuable time. I was exposed to so much there including Paul’s journeys, church history and spiritual formation.

 

     I then traveled to Campbell University Divinity School where I also have learned and grown spiritually. God made it very clear that I was supposed to be there. I learned there was a Preschool and Children’s Ministry Certificate program in addition to the Master’s program. This was very wonderful to me because I love preschoolers. During these classes I learned that ministry to and with preschoolers includes their parents who will train them in the way they should go and the congregation who need to support their spiritual growth and that preschoolers become youth. This means my ministry would be with the entire congregation.
 

     I learned so much about the Bible, preaching, theology, leadership, world religions, history and pastoral care while at Campbell. I have been nurtured by a knowledgeable, yet caring faculty. The focus is Christ-Centered, Bible-Based, and Ministry-Focused. In many classes, I was assigned to go into my community to interview and observe others who were already doing ministry. These experiences helped my awareness of who was around me and some efforts underway. The training required high expectations. Many hours were spent in preparation for the 85 credit hours of classes.
 

     My family has offered many encouraging words along the way and been very patient. Going to school has far reaching effects to my children and my husband, their education and classmates as well as his workmates when I needed to be at school and he needed to be home. My children have helped me study for exams and listened to my ideas. The journey can be thought of like a pine tree with knots along the road. Each knot has a story to tell and influences the growth and journey from there.
 

     Moseley’s Creek Church has also been very supportive of my calling and education. Campbell requires a letter of reference from the home church of the student. This affirms the person but also that the church body will support that student in prayer and dialogue during the journey through theological education. I also could not have completed the requirements for the required class of Supervised Ministry without their participation. I plan to continue serving my church and the children there.
 

     I am truly grateful for The North Carolina Foundation for Christian Ministries. I felt so much affirmation when Dr. Raper said to me, “We want to help you.” I had heard Dr. Raper at an Eastern Conference Session of the Woman’s Auxiliary Convention explain what the Foundation was and the importance of estate planning so that after this world our money will be able to help our church in the future. His presentation had so impressed me. It is a grand honor to be a recipient of the Foundation’s work.
 

     I have met so many amazing people along the way. I treasure our conversations and study times.
 

     Thank you to all who have lifted me up in prayer and helped me along my journey. I had asked God to teach me and he has done so much more than I imagined was available. Glory Be to God. He is almighty and worthy of our praise.

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