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Most stories begin with a Once Upon A Time and so shall mine.

Once upon a time, a little red headed girl found Jesus, great joy and fun friends at her church. Jill thrived in the environment of Christian education from teachers who cared and the opportunity, for herself, to lead and teach her peers and the younger children. When her family was part of a small group that started a church in someone’s basement, this high schooler was thrust more deeply into leadership- pianist, choir director and Sunday School teacher of any and every age group. This was probably the last time she ever attended an adult Sunday School class. She has been teaching and leading ever since.
 
Growing up in a rather conservative American Baptist, and then a Southern Baptist Church, she got the opportunity to begin figuring out her own faith at seminary. She loved being in a school that helped her learn how to think, instead of, what to think. Classes where children’s faith development was highlighted held her interest.
 
She has always been fascinated by children- their actions, their humor, their attempts at learning. It was only natural that she would follow the path of serving God that included children. She’s forever grateful for all she has learned about life, God, and others through those children.
 
As God steered her from general Christian education to age specific ministry, the opportunity for her first church to serve presented itself upon graduation. Thank God for educators, like Larry Williams and Bo Prosser, who are called to mentor young ministers. Seminary covers theology and faith development but teaches little about how that plays out in the local church.
 
She remembers asking her seminary professor, “What if you get to a church and become bored or feel like you need to leave after a year or two? ” She replied that God uses people short-term and long-term. How right she was. At the first church, Central Baptist Chattanooga, she was blessed to serve for 6 years. At the second church, First Baptist Roswell, she enjoyed her ministry for 10 years. This is where she met her crazy husband, Rick Jenkins, was married, and where her two practically perfect children, Maggie and Jack were born.
 
She clearly remembers the phone call she received from Phil Brown, at Johns Creek Baptist Church, asking her about children’s ministry prospects. That was 20 years ago. She will share those reflections in the weeks to come. You are a huge part of that story.
 
Jill Jenkins
Children’s Pastor
Johns Creek Baptist Church

6 Comments. Leave new

  • Jill what a blessing you have been for so many. I have grandchildren as proof! Love you and appreciate you so much for all you do and have done.
    May God bless you in the coming years in all you do.
    Love you. Pat

    Reply
  • MARY LOU PARRISH
    April 6, 2015 4:27 pm

    Many adults have come along beside our children’s Pastor, Jill at one time or another. We to were inspired with hope for the future potential of those she has brought into the Kingdom. By loving and guiding them.to become vessels of HIS LIGHT.. She has baptized many Young Converts who, are now enabled to cause thirst in others along the Journey toward our final destinations.. We love and wish you well . For God’s sake, Christ’s sake and for those who have put their faith in JESUS and received the HOLY SPIRIT because you were there. May God continue to bless you.

    Reply
  • Judy Hansard
    April 6, 2015 5:57 pm

    What a blessing Jill has been to my daughters! As children and pre-teens, she led them in ways that excited them, inspired them, and motivated them to explore ways to grow and serve The Lord. As adults, they still see her as a mentor and a friend. Thanks, Jill, for your twenty years of service to JCBC and to God.

    Reply
  • Don and I were blessed to teach 1st grade SS under your leadership for 10 years. This period was such a special time for us – we grew in our faith and spiritual discipline and flexibility and learned what joy there was in working with children.

    You have also been so sweet to our children that were “outsiders” and always made them feel welcome and known and special!

    Thank you for giving of your heart and soul to the community – you have been a tremendous blessing.

    Reply
  • Kristen Cochran
    April 6, 2015 7:18 pm

    I’m proud to say I was blessed to serve alongside you, Jill for almost 10 years! I have so many wonderful memories, mostly of how well you loved children. And you DO have two practically perfect children and I often think to myself in the tough parenting moments…what would Jill do? Thank you for sharing your life with me, and being the most excellent boss, of course! I love you friend! Congratulations and I cannot wait to hear what God has for you next! Xoxo

    Reply
  • Debra Fogus Smith
    April 19, 2015 5:25 pm

    Thank you Jill for serving the Lord with Gladness and for teaching me to Rejoice in the Lord Always! I was one of the kids that you ministered to in that basement and beyond! I accepted Christ as my Savior at seven years old and for 42 more years I have continued to follow and serve Him. Following the example that I saw in you, I spent many years working in church children’s programs. I am so thankful for your devotion to the Lord and for your willingness to serve Christ. It has made a huge impact in my life, my children’s lives and in the lives of the kids and teens that I have ministered. The difference that you made will continue to spread as the kids continue to grow, share the gospel of Christ and to love one another. This little light of mine, I ‘m gonna let it shine!

    Reply

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