Growing up as a preacher’s daughter was a wonderful experience for me. I’ve learned many life lessons being raised in the ministry. I’m grateful my parents taught me the importance of having a personal relationship with God, loving and serving people, and always being positive. I will be forever grateful to my parents for setting the example of what it truly means to love and serve the Lord.
One thing that needs to be understood while serving in ministry would be the word “sacrifice.” Sacrifice of leaving behind friends to move to another city, sleeping in on Sunday mornings and family time. We moved every two to three years, which required getting used to a new school, new church, new friends and a new house. It was quite a bit of pressure and it was scary at times. I will be forever grateful to my mother for always being positive and letting me know that everything was going to work out. She was always right.
Leaving was a sacrifice
I always dreaded the “we’re leaving” talk. I knew that meant leaving my friends and everything that I knew. Experiencing new schools where I don’t know a soul was a challenge. I was very blessed to have had my amazing twin sister, Amanda. If it wasn’t for her, it would have been more challenging for me in school. She is my best friend and I knew she would have my back anywhere we moved. She knew exactly how I felt when we moved and it was crucial to have that support.
Sacrifice of moving to a new church
It was always hard to move to a new church, to get to know new people in the church and to have to behave and set a good example for the other children. There were times when I just wanted to sleep in and not worry about heading to church. My mom and dad were very persistent about us going to church every Sunday, so sleeping in was not an option. Every time the doors were open, we were at the church, serving and loving on people. One thing I always enjoyed, though, was Kids Choir and singing hymns in the worship service.
Sacrifice of family time
As I got older, there were times when I became selfish and upset when my dad would have to leave a family vacation early to go comfort a church member’s family and take care of the funeral. There were times he had to stay late at the church studying for his sermon the next morning. There were times we had to stay late into the evening at the church cleaning up from an event when there were not enough volunteers.
Sacrifice is a ministry
All of these things considered, I understand now how important the word “sacrifice” is. I now understand how important God and the ministry of the church are to my dad. First of all, it’s my dad’s calling from God. Second, it’s his job and duty as a minister. Third, it’s our duty as his family to be behind him 100 percent. Our family never went without. We always had food to eat, clothes on our backs and a warm bed to sleep in. It may have not been the nicest, but God always provided.
I’ve been able to meet countless wonderful people growing up as a preacher’s daughter. I gained so many adopted grandmothers and best friends along the way. I’m very blessed and fortunate to have such godly and sweet parents who raised me to be the woman I am today. So when I tell people I’m a PK, and they give me a hard time about it, I just tell them how proud I am to be one and that I’m blessed that I didn’t make horrible decisions in my life that I would later regret. I’m far from perfect. I make mistakes every day. But, I do my best to live my life pleasing to God and do my best to show His love to everyone around me.
Ashley Bean Sterrett, pastor’s daughter, currently lives in Denton with her husband of five
years, Jamey Sterrett. She is a graduate of East Texas Baptist University and works for First
Baptist Church, Denton, as Ministry Assistant to the Education Pastor. She and Jamey attend
FBC Denton. Ashley sings in the worship choir, and is the Children's Choir Director. Some of her favorite things to do are to sing, paint, make crafts, bake new recipes for her husband and spend time with her friends and family. Her desire in life is to show everyone God’s love and to use her gifts with humility.