Each Friday, Baptist Women in Ministry introduces an amazing minister. This week, we are thrilled to introduce Katrina Walker.
Katrina, tell us about your ministry journey, the places and ways you have been serving and are serving.
I am relatively new to preaching ministry. Like many others, I have been blessed with the gift of public speaking, but I would have never thought that I was a preacher. I can remember people coming up to me and calling me “preacher,” and I would just laugh it off. Then one day, my mom overheard a pastor call me “preacher” as he introduced himself. At that moment, it was loud and clear that God was speaking to me. I then spoke with my pastor, Rev. Kippie C. Brown, and I publicly accepted my call to preaching ministry in July of 2015.
For the past three-plus years, I have been serving as assistant to my pastor, the greatest internship of my life—hands-on exposure to ministry that my seminary education could not have given me. Serving in the assistant role has been humbling and very eye-opening. This assignment comes with adversity, but nothing comparable to God’s chastisement when I’ve tried to walk away.
Professionally, I am a registered nurse. Shortly after graduate school, I began working in nursing administration and education. Healthcare and ministry are both areas where I can serve others. I have been fortunate to bring my secular experience into ministry. My career experience is invaluable and, even as a novice minister, I’ve been given the opportunity to consult with churches and pastors. I also serve on the staff at the state level for my denomination.
Locally I am known as Minister Katrina. I serve youth and young adults in the Greenville community and church. I am being shared by a few ministries which is a blessing because I can reach a broader span.
What have been your greatest sources of joy in ministry?
My greatest joy comes from the assurance of God’s grace. Ministry can be tricky and difficult at times. Each day I fall short, but God’s grace covers me.
Serving is another source of my joy. I am a creative person, so I look for ways to serve using my artistry and gifts. My creativity is expressed in spoken word and tangible art forms. I love creating items that give God glory and honor through physical manifestation.
I also find joy in observing those who I serve. Joy comes from the child who now understands the operation of the Holy Spirit in his or her own way. Joy comes from the pastor who now has the tools he or she needs to connect with parishioners.
God has gifted me with unique skills and talents. My gifts are explicitly designed for me. I find joy when I’m operating and walking in what God has purposed for my life.
What have been the greatest challenges you have encountered in ministry?
My greatest challenge has been facing spiritual warfare. I have felt personally attacked by critics. I am starting to understand that many times people attack you, not because of who you are, but because of the calling you have on your life.
Loneliness also has come with being in ministry. I am constantly surrounded by people, yet I have feelings of loneliness. My loneliness stems from not having individuals who can relate to the struggles of being in ministry. No one knows the call of a minister but a minister, and at times it can be difficult to find a confidant.
Perceived failure has been another challenge for me. It can be so easy to compare ourselves with others. I have learned to value the individual plan that God has for my life—it is God’s will, not mine.
What advice would you give to a teenage girl who is discerning a call to ministry?
I remember a conversation where I asked my mentor, Rev. Tom Vinegar, “am I called to ministry?” He told me, “we are all ministers.” Once we choose the path of Christianity, we are responsible for growing and sharing our faith with others. From day one, you are a minister, and you should see yourself as such. Even though we are all ministers, there are a variety of areas in which we can serve.
I feel that God gives each of us specific areas of ministry. To understand your area of ministry, it is vital that you pray for God to make it plain and obvious. Our gifts also help with clarity in our specific area of ministry.
Embrace opportunities to use your gifts. It is those opportunities that shape your call to ministry. Serving under great pastors, I was able to identify my call. I was a gifted speaker, and in college, my pastor, Teresa Bufford, invited me to the pulpit. I wanted to say no but accepting the assignment to speak gave me the opportunity to personally minister to the corporate body. Serving under my current pastor, Kippie Brown, I have grown, because he has placed me in a variety of new ministry opportunities.
The last thing I want to share is that rejection is inevitable. Our Lord was rejected, and the more we conform our life like His, we will have feelings of rejection. Along with rejection, you will face criticism. I thank God for the criticism; my mom has encouraged me to use this as motivation. You must live out your call regardless of the opposition you face.