I am passionate about leading "the church on the move."
My joy is to see followers of Christ actively engaged in using their gifts, and blazing trails in effectively reaching the world with the transforming power of the gospel. As a servant leader of Christ's church, I want to do for others what my leaders and mentors did for me: facilitate that transformational connection between life on the ground and scripture/theology.
I see the Christian faith as a journey, a way of life. Many people can affirm that "church" is the people, not the building, but were that to become a reality in how we actually function, the church would be transformed. I'm fond of using the designation "follower of Christ." As I read the gospels, the essence of the call of Jesus is action: going, sending, doing.
What Our Alums Are Doing
Alumni/ae Who Are Transforming the Church
Today God calls people into a variety of leadership/service positions. We embrace this reality and try to equip all of our students with the resources needed to answer God’s call.
Rev. Gary Martin (1998 MDiv) Serves Bi-vocationally
The Rev. Gary Martin is the pastor of First Baptist Church of Lindsborg, Kansas. He also has his own business, Gold Field Trim and Upholstery (goldfieldtrim.com). According to Gary, the hardest challenge of being bi-vocational is to find a balance between the two vocations so that both are done well. Martin believes his situation to be ideal because he is self-employed and can set up his business wherever he needs to do so, especially now that it has shown some success by winning national awards and having his work appear on magazine covers.
There was no model for bi-vocational ministry when Rev. Martin was feeling called to that form of ministry. The American Baptist Profile System didn’t list it as an option. Jimmy Reader’s Another Look at Bi-vocational Ministry outlines a model of church in which multiple part time ministers serve the same congregation by using their unique giftedness. Gary said First Baptist, Lindsborg, invited a music minister to retire in their area and become a part-time leader of their congregation. They also employ an incredibly efficient administrator.
For Martin, success is about how your congregation is ministering to the community in which it finds itself. Gary sees his success in the stability he has brought to the congregation he serves, helping the church fulfill its dream to build a new building (for which the mortgage is nearing full payment), and being able to serve the wider denominational body and ecumenical community where he uses skills which are unnecessary in his local context. In recognition of Martin’s ministry effectiveness he was elected President of the ABCCR this year.
Rev. Dr. Vernon P. Howard (1994 MDiv) Sees Growth in Numbers, Giving, and Service
The pastor of Second Baptist Church, Kansas City, Missouri, the Rev. Dr. Vernon P. Howard has served on Central’s Board of Trustees and as an adjunct for homiletics classes at Central. He has also been an adjunct faculty for William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri, as well as the University of Arizona.
Dr. Howard is excited about Second Baptist’s movement from stabilization to visualization after a difficult transition before he came as pastor in 2008. They’ve begun a program called M39 – the Miracle on 39th Street with plans to expand their ministries, including a new facility. Since Howard began his ministry there, the church has started 20 new ministries, baptized 250 people, increased their giving percentage by almost 70%.
The church is committed to social ministry, including providing spiritual support for three nursing/assisted living facilities, an annual back-to-school event in which they distribute school supplies, and donations towards needs in their community as well as places like Haiti and Joplin. They have a goal to exceed a tithe of their income in financial help for these kinds of causes.
Six ministers have been licensed to the Gospel under Vernon’s leadership, three of whom he referred to Central Seminary for training. He provides ongoing required training to equip them for ministry as well in the areas of leadership, homiletics, spiritual formation, and ministry planning.
Rev. Dr. Kathy Pickett (2003 MDiv) Serves Church, Community, CBFMO, Central…
Rev. Dr. Kathy Pickett is the Pastor of Congregational Life for Holmeswood Baptist Church in Kansas City, Missouri. She has served there for almost 14 years. She oversees the church’s missional ministry and community partnerships, education/spiritual formation, youth ministry, communication and social media, and benevolence ministries. She also partners with other ministry staff for pastoral care, preaching, officiating weddings and funerals, visioning, and virtually every ministry of the church.
Kathy recently completed her DMin in Transformational Leadership and Congregational Renewal and has been encouraged to publish her doctoral work, Sacred Gatherings: Exploring Discovering Discerning Church. She is also exploring coaching and consulting possibilities. She often contributes sermons to the Ethics Daily Sermon Contributor page.
While faithfully serving her church and completing her studies, Pickett has also found time to serve as the moderator of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Missouri, in an advisory capacity for Central’s DMin Committee, Missouri Baptist Women in Ministry, and the Center School District Community Advisor Board, and as a mentor for seminary interns.
Rev. Jerrod Hugenot (2002 MA and MDiv) Leads Church to Vital Ministry
The Rev. Jerrod H. Hugenot recently completed his sixth year as the Coordinating Minister of the First Baptist Church of Bennington, Vermont. Jerrod began his time as an Interim Minister, helping the church reassess its mission and vision. Consulting with Missional Church faculty Dr. Ronald Carlson, the congregation shifted into a missional model for ministry. Now, First Baptist's underutilized facility is recognized as a vital community asset for local non-profits and interfaith collaborative efforts. Jerrod and FBC lay leaders routinely share their emerging story and some "best practices" learned while moving from "declining and institutional" to "sustainable and missional" with other churches and Dr. Carlson's missional church classes at Central. Hugenot also contributes book reviews regularly to Sharing the Practice, the journal for the Academy of Parish Clergy.
Jerrod’s wife Kerry Shermer (MDiv 2004) works for the Community College of Vermont in Bennington. CCV is an important community partner in Vermont addressing the needs of communities dealing with generational poverty and other socio-economic disadvantages and helping many Vermonters achieve their educational goals.
Together, Jerrod and Kerry, who managed the Cokesbury Bookstore at Central and worked in the Central library respectively, spend their time reading (what else?) and keeping up with their three cats Biblia, Page, and Codex and their refined elder beagle Gentil. To correspond, contact Jerrod via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rev. Tammy Jackson Gill (2010 MDiv) Brings Hope to a Small Community of Believers
Rev. Tammy Jackson Gill began filling the pulpit of a little Disciples of Christ church in Missouri City, Missouri in December 2010. In September of 2011, Missouri City Christian Church called her as their pastor. The church has experienced revitalization under her leadership with 2 baptisms recently and more moving toward batism, deepening faith among its members, and in finding ways to minister in the community.
Tammy served as pastor to Children and Families at Holmeswood Baptist Church in Kansas City, Missouri, while she was in seminary. She came to seminary as the owner and psychologist for Healing Grace Counseling Center in Lees Summit, Missouri, and it continues to be a thriving practice. She has been an advocate for mental health services for the uninsured and under-insured. Gill is also the mother of two, one who just completed 5th grade and the other 8th grade.
Whom do you know who would be a good seminary student? Invite them to visit Central with you. You may also call or send their name to Debra Sermons, Director of Recruitment at Central – 913.667.5711 or email@example.com.
Look for details on our next Invite-a Friend Week at Central on this site or on our Facebook page