Ruthe, Alice, Bill, John, Vicki, Brian and Rosslyn. These are all NTS alumni that I’ve had the privilege of reconnecting with or meeting for the first time over the past year. Ruthe, the first African American female graduate of NTS, has been faithfully serving in an inner-city health care center for several decades now – in addition to being a part time chaplain with her husband at a Center for Behavioral Medicine.
Pastor Alice is the founding pastor of a family resource center and church that offers day housing for homeless women and their families, a fully stocked clothing closet, free diapers and more. Pastor Alice can be seen walking back and forth 31st Street in Kansas City most every day, attending to the needs at each facility. She’s become an icon in the neighborhood and her ministry reaches far beyond the two blocks where the Resource Center and Church are located.
Bill received his MDiv from NTS and pastored a church for a short while in Texas but found his true calling as a funeral director. He talks passionately about being able to connect and console persons at their moments of deepest sorrow and need. He is also an ardent advocate of practical planning for death and dying and has helped many to see the wisdom in preparing for a good death and avoiding burdensome funeral costs at a vulnerable time. Bill is also an infectious personality and seems to have never met a stranger!
John and his wife Carissa, transplanted Californians, have been faithfully serving in a small rural church in NorthWest Missouri for over 14 years. A big part of their ministry has been attending to farmers, widows, retired factory workers, and quilting grandmothers. To make ends meet, they both work outside the church and home as well as engage in the ministry of bread baking which has been a source of joy and delight for many in their church and community! In John’s words, their ministry has been characterized by a ‘quiet, small life of abundance.’
Pastor Vicki serves just up the road from John and Carissa in a small, rural town as well. It is her first senior pastorate after many years of diverse ministry with her husband, in academia, in the non-profit sector and more. Now in her 60s, she’s finally landed her ‘dream’ job – pastoring, indeed loving, a small church and her people.
Captain Brian has risen through the chaplaincy ranks over his years of service in the Navy having served in Africa, Washington DC, Asia and soon in Europe where he will supervise all operational Navy Chaplains in the European theater, Africa and the Mediterranean Sea. His wife Rosslyn, also an NTS grad, has served in ministry alongside Brian in their many moves in a variety of roles including co-pastor, associate pastor and director of religious education.
Ruthe, Alice, Bill, John (and Carrissa!), Vicki, Brian and Rosslyn are all are serving in a wide variety of ministry roles yet each one is an example of a faithful and effective minister. We are honored to call them a part of the NTS family.
As we embark on this our 75th anniversary year at Nazarene Theological Seminary, I thank God for the love, grace and impact that NTS grads have made around the world these past 7 decades plus. The world is indeed a richer and more beautiful place because of them.
What’s your NTS story? We’d love to hear it. Share it here!
Director, Center for Pastoral Leadership and Alumni Relations