Women’s Auxiliary luncheon features testimonies of women of faith

Katie Coleman


Southwestern Seminary comprises many women committed to prepare for the call God has placed on each of their lives. This call is evident from their studies and the ways in which they lead, teach and encourage others in their ministry work. At the recent Women’s Auxiliary Luncheon on the Fort Worth campus, Oct. 24, Southwestern ministry partners had the opportunity to hear from four of these women about their testimonies, calls to ministry, and student experiences. 

Master of Divinity student Kim Whitten shared what she described as her “God-called story.” “In my journey to Southwestern, I felt anything but brave,” Whitten said. “But isn’t that just like God to correct a story that only He could write?”

Before arriving at Southwestern to pursue her degree, Whitten served as a minister to the middle school and high school girls in her church. But in the midst of this ministry, she felt unsettled, never feeling adequately prepared to do the work she was called to do.

“I felt like I was excavating God’s Word with kitchen scissors, and I didn’t feel prepared for what I was doing,” Whitten said. “I loved it, but I had a sense from God that there was more.”

That “more,” she explained, would eventually be seminary and the call to prepare. She first took online classes, but eventually stepped out in faith to move from Florida to Texas to pursue a degree at Southwestern.

“I left in faith and, just a few weeks ago, God called me to a church to be a minister for middle, high school, college-age girls, and teach the Bible to women of all ages,” Whitten said. “This is my God-called story, and it’s a story that only God can write.”

Following Whitten’s testimony, Katie McCoy, assistant professor of theology in women’s studies, shared her own journey of faith that ultimately led her to Southwestern in 2008. McCoy was leaving behind her plans of a master’s degree in music to pursue a seminary degree. She, like many other women who act in faith, did not know what tasks the Lord had for her, but she knew she would need a seminary degree to accomplish them.

“We move in and out of seasons as wives, mothers, ministers, professionals, educators and advocates,” McCoy said. “At Southwestern, I found a tight-knit community of female students who were forming their beliefs and convictions alongside female professors who lived out their own beliefs and convictions.”

McCoy said she is the product of many influential women in her life and many professors and leaders who created opportunities she never imagined for herself. Now she is on the other side, influencing, leading and teaching students who also answered the call to prepare.

“As a professor, I get to be a part of preparing my students not just for what they are to do, but to step into everything that God has called them to be,” McCoy said.

Next, Melissa Meredith, director of the Horner House, told her own story of coming to salvation at a young age and answering God’s call to full-time ministry as a teenager. Since she was a child, Meredith said, God had stirred in her a desire to learn, know and teach the Word. 

God led her to many ministry opportunities in her college years, but she was eventually led to seminary. After graduation and four years of ministry at a local church, God brought her back to Southwestern, where she now serves in various roles to facilitate opportunities for women to gather and be equipped for their own ministries.

Meredith concluded with a call for women to both pray for students and partner with them in mentorship and encouragement. “They are strong, called women that we are equipping for the Lord,” Meredith said. “Pray for them.”

Karen Collett, who has served Southwestern in many capacities through the years in the Institutional Advancement office and Women’s Auxiliary programs, delivered the final testimony of the luncheon, sharing her story of putting her faith in God’s plan for her life.

Prior to joining the Southwestern staff in 2007, Collett served alongside her husband, who pastored a church in the Baltimore-Washington, D.C. region. As church planters, hospitality was a key way in which she exemplified the love of Christ, a characteristic that she has carried through her life and service at Southwestern.

“He is always preparing us for that next step,” Collett said. “Here at Southwestern, I not only work alongside amazing women that you have heard from, but through women such as yourselves in Women’s Auxiliary, Widows’ Might, and Dressed For Service ministries. You have all been such a blessing to me.”

“We are all called by God to do mighty things for Him, but we just have to follow Him,” Collett said. “I am thankful He brought me to Southwestern.”