Once upon a time, Serenity was on her way to building her own little media empire, after 15 years of faking her way through life and riding opportunities she’d done nothing yet to deserve. In late 2010, her secret double life of alcoholism, depression, and self-destruction brought it all crashing down around her, and the only option left was God. He got His hands on her through a program of spiritual recovery, and He brought an old friend, Jeff, back into her life at a time when they were both dying to themselves and trying to come to terms with God. Instead of asking her out on a date, Jeff asked Serenity to do the one thing she’d feared her entire adult life: go back to church.
Fast forward about six months, and Serenity was inviting Jeff to a small group in a Wesleyan pastor’s basement, which was the last place on earth either of them ever expected to belong. When they didn’t catch fire there, they found out “church people” were just as in need of salvation as they were.
The two of them accepted Christ into their lives before they knew what that would mean for them. Before long, they were getting baptized, becoming church members, and leading small groups together. In early 2012, Serenity casually mentioned to Jeff that she was thinking about maybe going to seminary school someday. He was supposed to laugh at her, but instead, he encouraged her to talk to their pastors about it. The next spring, convinced she was crazy, Serenity began a degree in biblical studies through a Wesleyan university. In January of 2014, Jeff and Serenity were married at their local Wesleyan church in Brookings, South Dakota, standing on the same platform where they were baptized together just a couple of years before.
Jeff and Serenity walked into marriage knowing they were following the Spirit’s call into ministry, headed down a path they couldn’t even see or imagine at that point. Serenity completed her biblical studies degree in the fall of 2015 and went on to work toward completion of requirements for ordination in The Wesleyan Church, and she is now pursuing an M.A. in psychology with a specialization in life coaching. Today, Pastor Serenity ministers in the same church where everything changed for her, which has since grown to an average of 1,650+ attendees each Sunday. Overseeing local outreach, Pastor Serenity develops teams to engage in the community through jail, recovery, and mental health ministries, emphasizing one-on-one mentoring and small group connections. Her passion is seeing the Church be a safe place to land for people to find freedom and fullness of life in Christ.
Meanwhile, Serenity and Jeff are still walking step by step, one day at a time, doing their best to offer lives well lived for the glory of God’s kingdom. And she is still the first to point out the irony of being named after the Serenity Prayer.
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