Meet Kelley

Kelley Mathews

Kelley Mathews

One of the fun discoveries of working with Sue has been the realization that God can form an effective team out of two very different people. Sue actually is my mother’s age (I think), yet she invited me to partner with her seven years ago to write New Doors in Ministry to Women. I was an inexperienced, volunteer women’s ministry director, a new mother of a four-month-old, and just out of seminary—wondering how in the world I would use that degree between diaper changes. Yet our partnership was an exercise of our conviction that multi-generational ministry can be extremely effective, encouraging, and educational—for all generations involved. I hail from the bayou, born and raised in Baton Rouge, LA. Raised in the Catholic church, I was introduced to Jesus in a personal way—shown what it meant to trust him completely for my salvation—when I was in junior high. I tagged along at adult Bible studies throughout high school, eager to soak up the Word. It, and the God who wrote it, fascinated me.

Later, at LSU, I found a wonderful Bible church with people who encouraged me in my spiritual walk, in my leadership skills, and in my desire to serve Him. I spent my summers as a youth counselor at Pine Cove Christian Camp in Tyler, Texas, where I met fabulous Bible teachers, directors, and leaders. Invariably, it seemed, they were professors or alumni of Dallas Seminary. So when I realized LSU’s religion program wasn’t sufficient for my goals, I finished up my bachelor’s quickly and headed for DTS.

Kelley and John

Through professors, fellow students, and friends, the Lord showed me the direction he had chosen for me. I’d always had a deep interest in church history, due to my upbringing. Why do we do what we do in church? Why did that tradition start? When did it lose its meaning? Those sorts of questions still intrigue me—so watch out, you may see a book on that sort of thing one day from me. But in the meantime, the Lord directed me out of the church history track and into the media arts track. There, I honed mywriting skills, gained experience and knowledge of my strengths and weaknesses. For instance, don’t look for any fiction with my byline. It’s just not me! But I get great joy from improving someone else’s writing. Articles and non-fiction books are much more in line with my interests and abilities.

It took a friend’s nudge into leadership to open my eyes to women’s ministry. I started by teaching them church history (snuck that in there) and branched out to bible studies and leadership development. Thanks to a supportive husband who enabled me to stay home with my child(ren), I’ve been able to lead a women’s ministry for a few years, partner with Sue on four books, write and edit for various ministries, and experience the joys (and demands) of stay-at-home motherhood. What a blessing!

In each stage of my life thus far, the Lord has provided women to boost me to the next stage. A teacher who showed me Jesus, a “Barnabas” friend who never failed to encourage and challenge me to new leadership opportunities and spiritual maturity, fellow students at seminary who inspired me to serve with a heart of faith, mentors like Sue who sent opportunities and offered their assistance along the way…and others too numerous to mention.

Kelley and kids

Always, these women have been older than me by at least 10 years. I have been struck time and again by their generosity towards me, their belief in me—this child in comparison to them. Why would they spend time on me? But they did, and I greatly benefited from their time and effort. It’s my turn now.

Through this ministry partnership at New Doors, it is my hope that I will be able to extend such support to other women coming behind me. As a team Sue and I are modern and postmodern, mother and grandmother, professor and student, professional and homemaker…our combined perspectives and experiences, we hope, can benefit you as you serve the Lord in your own sphere of influence.

We’d love to hear from you, compare notes, offer encouragement and resources. Thanks for dropping by.

Blessings,

Kelley

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