FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS) – For more than two decades, Nancy Turner has served alongside her husband, Terry Turner, at Mesquite Friendship Baptist Church, a Southern Baptist plant in Mesquite.
In the fall of 2013, she made the decision to continue her education at Southwestern Seminary by pursuing her Ph.D. in family ministries with a minor in women’s studies.
“I just think it will better prepare me,” Nancy said, especially as she helps her husband, senior pastor at MFBC and recent Southern Baptists of Texas Convention president.
Originally from Oklahoma, the couple moved to the Dallas area in 1989, believing Turner would complete his training at Dallas Theological Seminary and then return to their home state. Instead, Nancy says they felt called to remain and planted the church in 1992.
Beginning with just five families, the church now has more than 2,000 members and has planted several other churches even as far away as Tampa, Fla.
Following her husband’s lead, in 2012 Nancy completed her coursework at Dallas Theological Seminary and then decided to seek her Ph.D. at Southwestern, saying that its values fit closely with her theological views.
She says she believes the further education will train her for ministry but will also one day allow her to teach, which is one of her passions.
After completing her first semester, Nancy said she has already learned a great deal from her classes and their readings.
“It’s going great. I’m enjoying it so much,” Nancy said of the degree program so far. “I’ve been exposed to new ideas I’d never thought of before.”
Nancy says those ideas will equip her as she continues to serve as the Mesquite church’s administrator and as she ministers to families and women of the church.
Turner expects to finish the degree in about three years and says for now she is praying that God will keep her mentally, spiritually, and physically along the way.
“I’m just enjoying the journey,” Turner said.