Although Teresa Martin has been doing women’s ministry work for about 12 years, and has been working with a local church since last spring, the church recently made it official.
Bruce Horstman, senior minister at Mount Carmel Christian Church, said church board members recently unanimously confirmed her calling to be the first women’s ministry leader.
Horstman said although her title just became official, she has been fulfilling the duties for a while.
“The church’s responsibility is to foster discipleship through relationships and fellowship opportunities, and Teresa had come to the church ... a little over a year ago ... and she brought with her a vast amount of knowledge and experience,” he said. “So it was just a natural thing that kind of happened over a few weeks and months, and so I started to see the potential in her.
“It was a natural fit, so I went to the leadership and said ‘This is our women’s ministry leader, we need to confirm her calling and bring her on board.’”
Martin said she became involved in women’s groups after going through a divorce.
“Everything that I thought was mine was gone in a flash, and I didn’t know who I was. I was my child’s mother, I was my husband’s wife and when all that identity was gone, I had no idea who I was,” she said. “And it was at that point that I started praying and I started talking to other people that were stronger believers than I was, and realized that you know, in this life we really have nothing we can call our own unless we have a personal relationship with God.”
Martin has lived in Winchester for more than three years. She has been involved with or led women’s groups at churches in Lexington where she used to live and works as a registered nurse at St. Joseph Hospital.
She and her current husband began attending Mount Carmel, located on Wades Mill Road, around October 2010, and in June, she started leading women’s groups, first with a retreat.
“ ... I’ve seen women become believers. I’ve seen women that were new believers grow in their understanding of who Christ is,” she said. “I’ve seen women grow in their faith. I’ve seen them take a deeper walk with Jesus.”
Horstman said she brings a desire to see others “grow in Christ.”
“What Teresa is doing and attempting to do with these ladies is to show them ... how, through her example and through the Biblical teaching ... to live Godly lives,” he said.
For the church, Horstman said, it’s all about investing in friendships. One upcoming event that aims to do so is the church’s first-ever Ladies Christmas Tea, which the Mount Carmel Women’s Ministry and Martin will host.
The event is for women across Clark County, and each table will have a team leader. Martin is one of those team leaders, and Horstman said most of the leaders have decided to pay for those who sit at their table.
“This is an opportunity for those team leaders then to start investing in these other ladies that they’re inviting to their table,” he said. “It’s not about people getting people in the pews. It’s not about filling pews. It’s about relationships and investing in those relationships.
“If I come and spend time with you and I invest myself in you and get to know you, not as just a person that I want to sit in a pew, but a person that I¿want to have a changed life, that’s going to make all the difference.”
The Ladies Christmas Tea will be Saturday in the Family Life Center on the Mount Carmel campus, 3455 Wades Mill Road, from 10 a.m. to noon. It will feature a cappella music by the Unbridled Harmony Chorus of Lexington, a light brunch served with tea, and a devotion.
The event is open to the public, and the church asks that those wanting to come RSVP so there are enough refreshments and seating. Call Martin at 576-7800 or Horstman at 619-7114 for reservations.
Tickets are $5 a person, and proceeds will benefit the Mt. Carmel Women’s Ministry. For more information, visit the church website, www.mtcarmelchristian.org.