Joanna Wirtz, Community Services

(Pictured with her brother Joshua and sister Jemima)

"As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you. And I will teach you the way that is good and right."

1 Samuel 12:23

I grew up at Trinity Baptist Church and am greatly honored to serve here. My parents and Sunday school teachers gave me a solid grounding in the Christian faith, and my youth pastors Andrew Large and Stu Cocanougher introduced me to Christian ministry. I started teaching Backyard Bible Clubs when I was 12. When I was 16 years old I announced to my church family that God had called me to ministry, and they immediately rejoiced with me and prayed for me.

However, my path to get here has not been a straight one! I found myself doing ministry on the side while primarily focusing on other things. When I was 16 and attending University of North Texas, I was street witnessing with Campus Crusade for Christ. I volunteered with Metro Chicago Youth for Christ while a student at Wheaton College. While working at Christianity Today International, I taught Sunday school for middle school students and volunteered for the Billy Graham telephone ministry. When I was a military contractor at Vance Air Force Base I served on the church worship team and volunteered with teens. I was never content unless I was also serving the Lord.

Finally God brought me back to Texas and gave me the opportunity to attend George W. Truett Theological Seminary at Baylor University. He also gave me the opportunity to be involved in all sorts of ministries: worship services at nursing homes, drama ministry, young adult ministry, youth ministry, mentoring, choir, children's worship, Vacation Bible School, Fall Festival, and English as a Second Language. I had the opportunity to lead VBS in Belize. I had the opportunity to study Spanish in Mexico and to preach in Spanish in Chihuahua and at our sister church Iglesia La Viña de Señor de Señores. (I'm still not fluent, but the message gets through.) I served as the Líder de Jóvenes at La Viña before being asked to serve as the Family Pastor at Trinity Baptist Church for two years. I recently had the opportunity to lead worship at Trinity for several months. In addition to serving at Trinity, I am pursuing a doctorate of ministry at Portland Seminary at George Fox University.

I've said it before, but I'll say it again: It's been a great joy and an honor to serve the Lord by serving at Trinity Baptist Church. Trinity will always have a special place in my heart, and I am excited to see what God will do next!