Striving to be a more effective and prepared servant
From early on in life my desire has been to follow God and serve Him in any capacity that was available to me. My grandparents, who actively involved me in the spiritual life of our family, raised me in a Christian household.
I accepted Christ as my personal savior when I was nine years old. As a teenager I felt a strong, consuming desire to do more with my life, especially as it related to life within the local church. After much prayer and spiritual counseling, I answered the call to preach when I was 16 and delivered my first sermon when I was 17, becoming the fourth generation of pastors/ministers in my family. Eventually, my responsibilities within the local church increased. I have served as Youth Minister, Associate Minister, Assistant Pastor, Interim Pastor, and Senior Pastor in churches in Missouri and Texas.
Central Names Project Director for New Initiative
Jackson and her husband began serving as co-pastors of Gage Park Baptist Church in Topeka about six months ago, and they understand the issues pastors and churches face with regard to compensation. She looks forward to getting started and even began some preliminary work at the recent EMERGE conference where she was participating with other new clergy and seminarians and meeting American Baptist denominational personnel. Said Jackson, “I am truly delighted about directing this innovative project. As a pastoral leader, I am passionate about sustaining the ministries of local congregations and individual ministers; and finances figure into ministry health for both churches and leaders. The Lilly Grant affords us the opportunity to collect vital information, to create meaningful collaboration, and to provide beneficial education about the ‘Economics of Ministry.’ I anticipate the formation of partnerships among seminarians, church pastors, judicatory leaders, financial coaches, and the seminary community. What an exciting time to be a part of Central!”
Each aspect of the initiative – research, education, and collaboration – will reconfigure the landscape of student debt, support an educational model that prepares graduates to understand the financial metrics of ministry, and encourage strengthened partnerships with churches and communities. Jackson will manage these efforts to address and remediate the economic challenges pastoral leaders face in ways that help ministers and the churches they serve to flourish.