Looking back on her call to ministry, Rev. Jennifer Moxley can identify several different seeds God planted in her life. As she likes to say, it wasn’t anything exciting; there wasn’t a burning bush, neon sign or near death experience. It was a lot of little things.
It was baptism into the Methodist church as a baby, being confirmed in the church and attending three different youth groups as a kid.
It was answering every altar call in her teen years until God told her to stop going down to the front; that God had it taken care of.
It was receiving her first study Bible and learning God’s word was accessible. It was leading a Bible study in college and later leading four at the church she attended in North Carolina.
It was when Moxley’s pastor asked her if she’d considered seminary. Moxley then recognized God calling her out of her real estate career and into seminary to study.
When she started doing church internships, she realized she was hearing God’s word in a way that made her want to preach it.
“God calls us every day and every day we have to respond,” she says. “There’s so many times when you want to deny that call, and God keeps calling. God puts people in front of you.”
After 6 years, Moxley was ordained at the Missouri Annual Conference in June — the 60th anniversary of the full ordination rights for women in the United Methodist Church.
Her ministry in southeastern Missouri has had its unique moments, some of which a result of her gender.
“There’s something there that’s empowering for other women,” Moxley says. “As a woman, you have access to a spiritual life, and it doesn’t have to look a certain way.”