Kellie has been at Covenant Fellowship for about four years and attends the Taylors’ community group. She serves in prison ministry and youth ministry, as well as in the Book Shoppe and on the greeting team—you may know her from being welcomed to the church building with her bright smile on a Sunday morning! She’s also full of great stories, as you’ll read below.
Kellie, what brought you to Covenant Fellowship Church?
I started coming to Covenant in September 2016. I had previously been going to another church and realized that my beliefs did not align with theirs. I ended up looking up Covenant because I had a friend who was a member there. I did some research and decided that I wanted to give it a try. I was a newer believer, and while I had given my life over to Christ, I still had some questions and didn’t have an outlet for them. I saw that the Bridge course was starting the next week, and I thought it would be helpful to go through the course to have a context to answer some of the questions I had. I went to service that Sunday and started doing Bridge the following week. I ended up finding exactly what I was looking for in a church and in community, and have been around ever since.
What was your spiritual background like prior to coming to Covenant?
I grew up attending church with my family. I was generally a pretty good kid, but church was more just my default and part of my schedule, and I didn’t really understand the gospel. As I got older, I became rather self-righteous and found my worth in trying to be good enough. When I went to college, I tried out a couple of churches and got involved with a campus ministry, but my heart was still unchanged.
My second semester of my freshmen year was a very challenging couple of months. My dad passed away in February, my boyfriend at the time broke up with me a week before finals, and in July my sister moved away. I felt abandoned and like I wasn’t good enough for anyone, and fell into consuming depression. Over the next school year, I got more plugged in with my campus ministry and became friends with Christians. I started to realize that the lives of these people that I was friends with looked different because of their faith, and I was drawn in to learn more. I got involved in a Bible study, had true fellowship and began to understand what the gospel truly meant. I don’t know the exact moment that I was saved, but somewhere along the way I realized that even when I felt most abandoned and unworthy of love, God was always with me, drawing me into His loving embrace.
Can you tell us about your experience serving in prison ministry?
Serving in prison ministry has been one of the most challenging and rewarding ways for me to serve. Each time that I go into the prison, I feel ill-equipped and insufficient to be able to serve the women. However, every time, the Spirit moves, and I am able to connect with the women in unexpected ways and am given words to share with them. We don’t always get to see the fruits of our labor, especially in this particular ministry. I don’t always know what happens in the hearts of the women in these meetings, and I often never see them again, but it is still a context that allows the gospel to be shared. I find myself constantly encouraged when I am empowered by the Spirit to be the one to share the good news with people in need.
Getting to serve at Covenant is one of my favorite things and I am so glad that God allows me to be used to serve Him and His kingdom through this local church!
What are some other favorite things for you?
My favorite thing to do is spend my time with people. I try to fill my schedule up as much as possible with getting together with people. I love getting to strengthen existing relationships and getting to know new people. I love getting to hear people’s stories, enjoy meals together, share joys and burdens, and to just walk through life intentionally with people. I think it is important for Christians to live in community with other people and have found that meeting regularly with people helps me feel less alone as I walk through life. Listening to other people’s experiences has been such a blessing and encouragement, and has given me great perspective.
Another question about favorites: what is your favorite verse or passage of scripture, and why?
My favorite passage of scripture is Psalm 139. How can the God who knows all of my thoughts and all of my ways still love me and draw me in? It is so comforting to know that God knows me fully, and still loves me. It is hard to comprehend that truth, but I am so grateful for it. Meditating on this psalm always brings me so much comfort and peace in who God is.
What is something you have learned in your current season of life?
Something that I have learned in my current season of life is how hard it is to live in contentment. Even when God has blessed my life in so many ways and answered so many of my prayers, there is always something else to be desired that I don’t have. Lately I have found myself looking ahead at where I want to be and just feeling so discontent with where I am. One day recently I felt convicted by the discontentment in my heart and realized that where I am right now is exactly where I wanted to be a year ago, where I had been praying to be. I have been single and wanted to be married, dating and wanted to be engaged, engaged and wanted to be married. I recently got married and even though that has been wonderful, it hasn’t been the solution to the struggle with discontentment. I still find that I am quick to grumble and find things to be discontent about. I want to grow in enjoying where God has me in each season of life and not rush along to get to whatever is next. Some days it is easier than others to remember this truth, but God has given me so much peace lately that where I am right now is the best place for me to be for His glory and for my good. I do not want to miss the blessings He has for me right now by looking at what I don’t have.
Do you have any interesting family traditions?
I don’t know exactly how long this particular tradition has been going on, but my family has a traveling fruitcake. About 12-15 years ago around Christmas, my grandmom’s boss insisted on buying fruitcakes from a fundraiser. That year for Christmas, she sent it to my mom, who knew exactly what it was even before opening it. My mom tried “give it back” to my grandmom, and ever since then, my grandmom, mom, sister, and I have been passing the fruitcake back and forth to one another. My grandparents live in South Carolina, and my sister lives in Florida, so the fruitcake often gets taken along on trips to visit each other and has been left behind in many ways. It has been disguised in birthday gifts, left in pillow cases, hidden in drawers, sneaked into suitcases. Over the summer my family all vacationed at my grandparents’ home. At that time I had the fruitcake, and left it behind under a pile of towels before we left. When my grandmom visited us in September, she returned it to my mom, and she is now scheming its next adventure. Every time I fly with the fruitcake in my suitcase I get a TSA search notice, but fortunately, it has never been confiscated.
That is too funny! Do you have any other stories to share—an embarrassing moment, maybe?
When I started at my last job, I had a couple of days of new hire orientation before starting with my team. On my first day, the training team told us how we were in the middle of a month-long “spirit week” with a different theme every Tuesday. They told us that the next day was pajama day and that we could come in our pajamas. I was very excited and broke out my llama nightgown and slippers. I arrived and all of the new hires and training staff had on their pajamas. We later got a tour and I saw lots of people wearing their pajamas. At the end of the day I was unexpectedly sent to meet my team and arrived to find that every member of my team was dressed professionally and had no idea why I was dressed in a bright purple and blue nightgown covered with llamas. The next day my supervisor told me that she was really worried when I showed up that she was going to have to have a conversation with me about professional dress. It ended up being something we joked about often and that early on showed some of my personality, but it was definitely not the first impression that I wanted to make at a new job. Throughout my time working there, I was often the only person who participated in themed activities, but I always had a blast with it!
Thank you so much for your time. Lastly, how can we be praying for you?
The desire to be in control is an area of sin that I often struggle with. Especially over the past several months, there have been many things that feel completely out of my control. Things are constantly changing and aren’t as I want or planned. I have often found myself feeling discouraged and gripping for any things that I can control. I constantly find myself needing to be reminded that even in the moments where I feel like I have control, I don’t, and that it is best that way. I would love prayer in this area. Please pray that God would give me faith to trust Him in times of uncertainty and peace in the midst of situations that I cannot control.