1. Where do you serve and what is your role?
I serve as Minister to Students at First Baptist Church in the center of the universe, El Paso, Texas. My responsibilities include the planning and coordination of the youth program, grades 6 through 12, along with general ministerial duties for the church
2. Most influential book you've read in the past two years?
I don't know about influential, but for practical it is "The 7 Best Practices for Teaching Teenagers the Bible" by Andy Blanks. Very concise and a good manual for my workers.
3. Who is the one person who has had the most impact on your ministry?
My direct supervisor, Dr. Robert Nickell, the Executive Pastor for our church. We have worked together for seven years during some tough times for FBC-EP. Things are great now, and he is truly a good mentor and friend.
4. What I love most about youth ministry is . . .
The knowledge that you are really touching the future. I have the blessing of being able to impact the future by impacting a young person.
5. If I could see anyone in concert it would be . . .
Lecrae. Saw him once and he was non-stop energy. Very engaging with the crowd. Also Capital Kings. Had the chance to meet them in person and talk to them. Really down to earth and focused on their mission. Finally Deadmau5. Techno can be pretty fun to listen to.
6. If I could go anywhere on vacation it would be to . . . (and why you would go there)
Youth Conclave in Arlington! OK, maybe somewhere else, too. Not picky – somewhere warm and friendly. Along a beach with fresh seafood sounds great! Not too much beach activity in El Paso.
7. One thing that about me that surprises most people is . . .
I had a sound and light disco set up in college. I would go out and play for parties at schools.
8. Tell us about your call to ministry.
I have been fired from FBC-EP three times in the past! OK, now the facts. I have worked with youth since I was 19 years old when I was a member at FBC Canyon. I joined FBC-EP when I moved to El Paso twenty-three years ago. Three different times over the years I have filled in as "Interim Minister to Students". I was blessed to have a secular job that allowed me a lot of time flexibility. When a full time Minister to Students was called to service here, I would return to volunteering as a teacher with the youth. The fourth time I was called in as Interim was seven years ago. After a couple of years FBC-EP came to me and asked if I would consider staying on permanently. I felt God's call to follow this invitation and did so. I was bi-vocational until last year when I left my teaching position at UTEP to devote my time to the youth work. When I was eight, I told my grandmother I would never be a minister – now look at me. God does have a sense of humor.
9. What is one of your spiritual gifts and how does it impact your ministry?
Two things I believe are blessings are relationship building and organization. I really enjoy building a relationship with the youth. As we have been blessed with growth at FBC-EP, this has become increasingly difficult but I still try anyway. Nothing sounds better to a youth (and their parents!) than when you call the youth by name after they have visited one time. Organization is also a strength of mine. I don't have a large amount of creativity, but once I am given a vision I can organize groups around it.
10. Where is the best place to eat in your city?
Mexican food – Su Casa. Steaks – Cattlemen's. Lunch – Village Inn. Hey, I like to eat out!
11. If someone gave you $1,000 for your youth ministry, what would you do with it?
Straight to scholarships. Financial issues for camp and mission trip and summer camp are always an issue with our youth. Every year I worry about having enough money for those who need it, and every year God provides. Someday I will actually learn this.
12. If someone gave you $1,000 what would you do with it?
Use it for vacation – at the beach.
13. Top 3 hobbies you have (or things you enjoy in your free time)
I have officiated middle and high school football and basketball for over thirty years and still get a charge out of doing games. I also like to study and investment in stocks and options. Tutoring math is also fun.
14. Favorite passage of Scripture and why?
Joshua 1:8-9. I know this may be trite to some, but these two verses encapsulate my beliefs about my faith and the source of my strength in God.
15. If you could spend a day with any historical figure (not in the Bible) who would it be?
Steve Jobs. Despite his mercurial personality he was driven for quality and ingenuity.
16. If you could spend a day with anyone alive today who would it be?
President Obama. Whether or not you identify with his politics he is the most powerful person in the world. It would be interesting to hear his thoughts during the day. President Bush would also be interesting since he served both the great state of Texas and the United States.
17. What is your favorite thing about Conclave?
Hard choice! I like to learn new ideas and perspectives, and I also like seeing people I know from around Texas. And yes, hanging out with Jane Wilson and Brian Pearce – it is ALL good!