Did you think when you became a Christian you would be pastoring one day? Tell me about when you realized you were called to be a pastor /pastor’s wife?
Sophie Foley: I always believed I would marry a pastor. But then again, I’ve wanted to marry John since I was 12, and knew he was called to it.
Pastor John Foley: It was something that came to my mind but I wasn’t clear about. I had some other plans. I watched a world evangelism video of Greg and Lisa Mitchell in South Africa and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. I responded to a call to preach. I still wasn’t sure but a man in the church told me if I wanted to I probably was. I felt
moved that God could use my life to make an impact by preaching to people around the world. I thought most people felt like I did. I dedicated my life to becoming a pastor but it didn’t happen for another 8 years or so.
Sophie: We arrived in Malden, Massachusetts on June 2, 2017. We promptly began Bible studies in our home and soon moved to a hall nearby and began having Sunday morning services. My husband, Pastor John, met a group of young men almost immediately, who had been praying for a young pastor for a year. That same week we met a woman and her adult children, who had been praying for a young church as well. Within a few weeks, we had 20+ people attending. It was mind blowing. Truly, God had a people here, He just needed someone to come.
We remodeled and moved into our current building in May of this year and have had such favor with the community. This really has been a dream come true, to serve God here. It is right in the heart of the new downtown development and one block from the T station. We run anywhere from 20-60 people at any given time. —The Potter’s House, Malden MA https://www.pottershouseboston.com/
Janet Foley, (Pastor Kevin Foley’s wife & John Foley’s mother): My parents were faithful Methodists, very active in the church, my father teaching the adult class and my mother 3rd and 4th graders, me in the youth choir, etc.. But we never heard the term “born again,” and never heard that we must repent of our sin and truly invite Jesus Christ in to our hearts, which caused a lot of problems in our home!
My parent’s marriage was rocky. I got in huge fights with my dad where he accused me of things I never ever thought of doing. Just because I had incense in my room I was accused time and time again of drugs and lying. Finally I said to myself, if he thinks I’m so bad then…I’ll be bad!!! Where’s some dope? I became a rebellious pot smoking hippie chick at 13 years old. My 21 year old boyfriend turned me on to LSD—I didn’t want to do it, but I didn’t want to hurt his feelings. I was intrigued with the music, yoga and philosophy my brothers brought home from college and the partying, flower children, and concerts of the time.
I had an encounter with God before I became born again. While reading the book of Genesis I realized the reason for all the pain in this world was due to Original Sin, Adam and Eve’s fall. I determined then I had to tell the world! Six months later, on my way to a party, I stopped at my boyfriend’s family’s home to hear how his cousin had become a Jesus freak. Astounding testimony! I was was invited to church the next week. I was 15, a sophomore in High School in August 1970, when I received Jesus and was dramatically changed and captivated by His love. I knew I had to tell the world and made His message a part of my everyday life! (School, friends, work.) But pastor’s wife did not enter into my thinking ever.
As a new Christian, I became active in outreach daily. I got in on the first Christian coffeehouse in Prescott, Arizona called The Door, and was part of a girl’s band called Living Waters that ministered there weekly. We saw hundreds of young people come to Jesus through that ministry! We began to outreach for other churches throughout Arizona, in parks and other venues, seeing incredible results of decisions for Christ. A faith for what God could do through preaching and outreach captivated my heart in a way that it became my lifelong ambition, my core! Our church sent out one of our favorite couples to Wickenburg, AZ to take over a little church there and we saw the favor of God on their lives in reaching their community. It was exciting as our band was invited to minister there and we saw firsthand what was happening as a result of their responding to the pastoral call.
However, I think it wasn’t until my friends, Harold and Mona Warner, were sent out to Kearney, AZ, and Harold was severely hurt in a car accident that I realized something BIG. Something I had to respond to. In spite of being paralyzed from the waist down, this couple was still willing to go pioneer a church. We were stunned by their commitment to do this incredible thing! Their burden for souls! Our pastor preached a sermon that our call to reach the world by sending out our best couples to proclaim the gospel was obviously making the enemy of our souls furious and we were in for a battle. He made a call for us to present our lives as a living sacrifice and asked “who will go?” I responded heartily with much weeping and prayer—as the entire congregation made their way to the altars committing our hearts to this great task.
Kevin and I have been married for 40 years, have four children, and have pastored 9 churches over 39 years. —Currently pastoring The Potter’s House McMinnville Oregon https://pottershousemac.com/
Jen Quiles: God spoke to me early on in my salvation that I was going to marry my now husband and that he had called him to be a pastor. When my husband asked me to start courting him, he told me that he was called to be a pastor.
Pastor Quiles and his wife, Jen, have six sons and have pastored 4 churches, (pioneered three of them). His grandfather pastored a church in Brooklyn for over 40 years. —Read his blog post about this and more on the Potter’s House Church NY website here: A Lasting Legacy: https://newyorkcfc.com/2017/10/28/a-lasting-legacy/
Nicole Catala: I realized I was called to be a pastor’s wife when my husband told me he was called to preach.
Pastor Pablo Catala: My wife and I were not raised in a Christian home. We were both saved in a healing crusade in Poe Park in the Bronx, NY put on by our sending church, Victory Chapel, Bronx, NY in 2003. Pastor Wayman Mitchell from Arizona was preaching. God sincerely touched my heart to disciple men and preach the good news that Jesus Christ is coming back. I always desired to, and believed what my Pastor preached—to send out works. But I never thought God would be so gracious to choose me for this privileged mission to disciple men and build God’s church and spread the gospel message. My wife and I have been married for 16 years and have 4 wonderful children. We’ve been pastoring for 7 ½ years and have pastored 4 churches.
I just wanted what my Pastor had, and ran with it. —Pastor Pablo Catala, Victory Chapel Christian Fellowship Church of Bridgeport CT. For church service and Hidden Treasure Cafe concerts times and location call: 203-522-9011
Angelica Obermeyer: I spent several years in adulthood searching for my place in God’s family. As a practicing Catholic, I never quite felt at home regardless of how many churches I visited. I had always felt a stirring to seek God in a way that I could actually know Him. In 2007, a friend invited me to a non-denominational church and it was then that I felt at home for the first time. However, it wasn’t until several years later that I truly began living for the Lord.
I honestly don’t think I ever realized I was called to be a Pastor’s wife until I found myself as one. That sounds odd, I know, but I think the calling was more a whisper that God knew I might run from if I had known the details. He knew what he was doing and He knew my needs when I did not.
Pastor Kevin Obermeyer:
I’ve been saved about 40 years. I felt called into the ministry when I was very young, though I thought I was going to be a missionary. Not necessarily pastoring, but doing missionary work. I was going to be an Air Force pilot and just spread the Gospel wherever I traveled. But as an adult I felt led to pastor a church also and perhaps even start one at some point.
I had kind of an epiphany after a training exercise in the Air Force. After conducting an absolutely textbook flight and with some bright opportunities coming up, I felt like the Lord asked me, “Would you give all this up for me?” I thought to myself that I had proved I could do it, [be an Air-force pilot], and I knew what was really more important, so at that moment I decided to change my course—I felt the Lord wanted me to become a pastor.
I’ve been married four years, have two children, been a credentialed minister for 15 years and pastored three churches. I now mostly preach as a traveling evangelist out of Darby, Kansas. I speak to various groups and churches, as well as lead Bible studies, teach, and give counseling. I currently work with several churches in the Wichita metro area and am involved in several other ministries. —Keep up with what Pastor-evangelist and author, Kevin Obermeyer is doing in his ministry and his other endeavors on Obie’s Blog: http://obiehouse.com/blog/
Anonymous Pastor, Kathmandu, Nepal: Being raised in church and as a pastor’s kid I did think it was a possibility I become a pastor. I became a pastor because I wanted to obey God and didn’t want to fight Him. Also there was a vision imparted into my heart, and I wanted to make an impact in this world. Once I surrendered my heart to God it was a process. It wasn’t a moment in time but a continual stirring for God’s calling. There were several moments of God’s confirmation for that specific calling on my life. Most of those were at Bible conference alter calls. —Missionary, Kathmandu, Nepal
Pastor Chad: Yes, I did see pastoring as an option. I come from a long line of ministers in my family. My spiritual journey has been both fulfilling as well as challenging. Every time I believe that I have it all figured out, Jesus teaches something new expanding and challenging me. Through my conversion experience, call to ministry, a major humbling experience, and my wife and family, God continues teaching me and draws me closer to Him. While I am not able to explain everything that God has done, these are a few main points and circumstances God has used in my life beyond my resume.
I was raised in the church of the Nazarene. Though church attendance was a high priority in my family’s life, I did not find faith in Christ until the age of fifteen in 1987. I was not saved in the walls of a church but at a Petra Christian Rock concert. I was a guitarist and the music was the only reason I attended. During the concert, the band asked a question, “Are you going to church on Sunday, and you are with Jesus, and when you leave, are you leaving Him there?” This was exactly what I had been doing. That night, I realized that following Jesus meant devoting my entire life beyond church attendance. As he teaches in Luke 9:23, “If anyone wants to come after me, He must deny himself, take up His cross daily and follow me.”
A couple of years later at a church service, several believers and I remained and were praying together. While I was praying, I sensed God calling me into ministry. I had no idea what that meant specifically, but I realized that God wanted all of me, including my vocation. From that point forward, I have endeavored to only have Him direct where and what I would be doing with my life. As Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.”
I knew my call to be a preacher was “official,” after I took my first ministry assignment. I was a social work major in college and had accepted an internship to work in the inner city with youth. While there the Pastor asked me if I could fill in as the preacher one Sunday evening. During the message it was as if a lightning bolt sent a message saying, “This is what you are going to do for the rest of your life.” —Married 22 years, pastoring 22 years, 8 children (2 with Downs Syndrome, 5 adopted), Pastored 4 churches, currently pastoring at New Hope Church, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
*This is the 2nd article in my 2018 series of interviews with pastors and Pastor’s wives. I will be posting articles throughout October in honor of Pastor Appreciation Month. #heroesamongus
You can read part 1 of my 2018 series of interviews with pastors & pastor’s wives, If My People, HERE
You can read part 1 of my 2016 series, Shepherd Princes & Sarah’s Daughters HERE and my 2017 series, Dragon Slayer, Disciple Maker, HERE.
It would bless these pastors and pastor’s wives, myself, and others, if you would please share these articles. Thank you for joining me on my journey.
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