Pastor Nikki

When I consider my call to ministry, I most closely relate to Samuel. His call from God can be found in 1 Samuel, chapter 3. I was clueless as to what was happening, just as Samuel was. I knew from a very young age that I would be a teacher. I taught all my stuffed animals, dolls, toys, and even my younger brother to read. As a matter of fact, I taught everyone I knew just about everything I learned all the time. I’m sure I was super-annoying. So, when I graduated from Valley View High School in Germantown, OH, I headed straight for Miami University and began my studies to become a high school Spanish teacher. After graduating from Miami, I taught Spanish for seven years. During my final years at university, I had taken a religion course that had caused me to want to know more about God. So, I began attending church with the man who is now my husband, Matt Baker. I never dreamt what God would have in store for me!

I came to faith in my early twenties, was baptized, married, got a job teaching high school Spanish, and moved away from my hometown. My students were instrumental in encouraging my faith as they invited me to sponsor a student-led after-school Christian organization. When Matt and I moved back to Germantown and I began teaching at another school, students approached me there, as well. Matt and I were attending church, active in ministry there and growing in faith. When our kiddos were born, I opted to leave my teaching career for what I thought would be a few years, so that I could raise my children to school age. While I was at home with my children, I became increasingly involved in the local church, teaching, leading, reaching out in the community, deepening my roots and growing. Eventually with the encouragement of, my family, faith community and pastor I recognized my call to full-time ministry and entered seminary. I studied at United Theological Seminary in Dayton Ohio and received my Master of Divinity Degree in 2012. I have served churches in Germantown, OH; Camden, OH; and just moved from Gahanna where I was the Associate Pastor at Stonybrook UMC for the past seven years. I am looking forward to exploring the mission field in Pataskala and Licking County with this amazing group of people who trust in the promises of God. I am grateful that God loved me even before I knew that God was real and has pursued me even at my worst. I know that I don’t deserve the love and grace that God extends, but that God extends it anyway—a gift. It is my greatest desire to share the ways that God has transformed my life with that gift of grace. The transformation is incomplete, however. Faith is a journey and I hope you’ll join me wherever you are on yours. I look forward to continuing this life-changing adventure together!

 

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