Jeanne Welch is full of stories about the faithfulness of God. She grew up in Drexel Hill and now resides in West Chester with her husband, Dan. A member of the Bards’ community group, Jeanne enjoys serving in a variety of ministries, but most of all, she loves being a wife, mother, and grandmother.
Jeanne, tell us about when you found Covenant.
We first visited Covenant Fellowship Church at the end of 1985. My husband, Danny, was familiar with C.J. Mahaney’s ministry, having heard him at a youth meeting in 1976.
What are some things you can tell us about your family?
My husband, Danny, and I have five children: three boys and two girls. My son Noah and his wife, Courtney, reside in Louisville KY. My son Jonah lives in West Chester. My son Luke and his wife, Cathleen, live in Downingtown. My daughter, Lily, and her husband, Jeff, live in West Chester. Finally, my daughter, Lia, recently returned home from serving Youth With A Mission in Cambodia. We are privileged to have three young grandsons with two more in the way!
What is your most embarrassing moment?
Several years ago, Danny and I went on vacation with four of our friends to the Cayman Islands. We were reveling in the thought of two glorious weeks in one of the most beautiful places on earth, just soaking up the sun and looking at the azure waters of the Caribbean. We flew in relatively calm skies for the four-hour flight and landed safely on the tarmac in Grand Cayman. Suddenly, just after the pilot shut down the engines of the jet and de-activated the “Fasten Seat Belt” sign, I became overwhelmed with nausea. When I become nauseated, I do not respond in a quiet, ladylike way, but rather yell at the top of my lungs while vomiting; which was exactly what happened to me on that suddenly silent plane. In between extremely loud hurling by me, I had the opportunity to glance around at several other passengers who were looking at me with either disgusted or sickly expressions on their faces. Then, behind me, I heard the familiar voices of my so-called “friends” laughing at my total embarrassment.
Can you list “five favorites in five words”?
Date-night, babies, The Beatles, beach, potatoes
How have you enjoyed the ministries you serve in at CFC, and how have you have seen God work?
I serve in the kitchen for the Bridge Course, lead a Study Together bible study group, and have served in several other ministries over the years. Serving at Covenant Fellowship has always been a priority for our family. One of the most rewarding aspects of my life right now is seeing that our adult children, have caught that same vision, and now all serving the Lord within their local churches.
What are you currently studying and learning in your devotional times?
Our community group is currently studying, “Let’s Study Ephesians” by Sinclair Ferguson, and in our women’s Bible study, we are studying the book of Exodus. Both studies have strengthened my faith in showing what an incredible and personal Savior Jesus is to me.
What is your favorite verse or passage of scripture, and why?
My favorite verse is Isaiah 26:3 “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” There have been times in my life when I have dealt with fear. These words give me comfort because they are instructional. I have found that peace does truly abound when I keep my mind focused upon the Lord Jesus and his holy word.
If you could talk to a younger version of yourself, what advice would you give her?
Don’t be afraid of the future because God has a good plan for you and your family.
Your mother played a big role in your salvation. When and how did you came to Christ?
In 1979, after leaving home at a young age and doing a lot of wandering around the country, I found myself in my lonely apartment in San Francisco, crying out to God. My mother had previously shared the gospel with me, but more importantly, I observed a profound change in her life as she walked out her salvation. In that apartment, I knew that I would never have peace or purpose until I had Jesus. I asked the Lord into my heart that night and surrendered my life to him. In the next two weeks, God set a series of events in motion to bring me back to Pennsylvania. There, I joined a local church and set upon a radically different path. I am forever grateful for all he has done for me and that he has set his love upon me.
What is a situation in your life where you really saw God move?
When I was 23 and expecting our first child, Noah, I was diagnosed with cervical cancer during the first trimester of my pregnancy. With this devastating news came our doctor’s recommendation that we should terminate the pregnancy so that further medical tests, and a possible hysterectomy, could be performed. To us, abortion was not an option and we advised our doctor of our position. He replied that he understood that we wanted to have the baby, but a hysterectomy would be scheduled immediately thereafter.
We prayed and fasted for the Lord to intervene by healing me. While at a meeting at our church, Danny’s father laid hands on me and prophesied that he saw that the Lord was indeed healing me. Astoundingly, a few weeks later, while watching a Christian preacher on TV, he pointed at me through the TV screen and said, “There is a woman out there who has been diagnosed with cervical cancer and was told that she may have to have a hysterectomy, but the Lord wants you to know that he is healing you.” Later, while at my mother’s home for Christmas, we decided to visit Beth Yeshua, a Messianic Jewish congregation. While there, Rabbi Marty Chernoff called me out of the audience. He did not know me or my diagnosis, but he laid hands on me and proclaimed that the Lord was healing me.
On the day I went into labor, my obstetrician and oncologist arrived at my room in the hospital. As soon as the oncologist said, “Okay Mrs. Welch, once you have this baby, we will put you right into surgery for the hysterectomy,” Danny, who had just arrived from his work, told him to get out of the room because I would not be having a hysterectomy. Thanks to the Lord, I had a beautiful baby boy! Subsequent to Noah’s birth, I had visited another oncologist at the University of Pennsylvania who reviewed the findings of my previous oncologist and examined me. He said, “Well, Mr. and Mrs. Welch, the materials that I reviewed from your previous oncologist showed that you did, in fact, have cervical cancer, but my examination and tests show no abnormalities!” Glory be to God.