Kimberly Whitted Graduated with Confidence for the Future
“It has been my distinct pleasure and honor to count Campbell University Divinity School as my safe haven to explore my call to ministry, to develop relationships that deepen my understanding of God’s story, and to discern my own place in that story,” says Kimberly Whitted who graduated from Campbell University Divinity School in May 2014.
Kimberly has a long family history of church membership. As a child she alternated between her father’s Baptist church and her mother’s African Methodist Episcopal Church though, she says, “God was not the personal God I know today.”
Kimberly’s parents divorced when she was in elementary school, and by the time she got to middle school, she no longer attended church on a regular basis. When she was 12 years old, she was faced with the deaths of three family members including her maternal grandfather, her paternal grandmother, and her own father. So many losses in one year left her with very little faith.
This lack of faith carried her into high school which she considers her rebellious stage. Having many questions about the church, she called herself an agnostic. This stage only deepened in her first year of college at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
In her second year of college, she started attending Bible studies with a campus ministry called “Christian Campus Fellowship.” It was in these studies that she learned what it meant to have a personal relationship with God. She says, “I was at such a low place in my life that I needed God and let myself be open to him for the first time in my life.” That is what she did, and she says: “On October 27, 1994, I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. “
It wasn’t until the death of her maternal grandmother, however, that she allowed God to take complete control of her life. She says that during her time of grief, “The Bible was no longer words on a page, but they were the way God spoke to me and reached me.” Feeling that community was necessary for her faith, she joined McCoy’s Temple United Holy Church, was baptized, and became a greeter. She eventually became a trustee and a member of the leadership team.
After reading The Purpose Driven Life, she was compelled to go on a mission trip to Costa Rica. She says, “The mission trip opened my eyes to see beyond myself and my needs. It showed me that there are people who need the hope and promise of Jesus Christ so that they know they are not alone and they can live a joyful life now.”
After returning from the trip, she began to feel a call to go to the mission field permanently. She became restless and wondered if she should stay where she was or quit her job and pursue a call to missions. Six months later, her company offered a voluntary separation package and she took it.
She then found herself in another waiting period, asking God for direction. After sharing her prayers and thoughts with a friend, he suggested she look into Campbell University Divinity School. That’s what she did, and she says, “That was not in my plan, but when I visited the campus, nothing felt more right.” She received her confirmation on a prospective student visitation day when, placing her name into a drawing for giveaways she prayed, “Ok, God. If this is where I am supposed to be, I want that water bottle.” Her name was the first one selected and she chose the water bottle.
Trusting in God’s provision, Kimberly applied to CUDS. Shortly after being accepted, the company that she had previously worked for contacted her and offered her a temporary part-time job. She took it, and began classes in the Fall of 2010. During her experience as a Divinity School student, she came to value the importance of community. She says, “We are stronger through our relationships and community that we create while walking the journey together.”
Along the journey Kimberly also found value in her academic studies. She enjoyed classes in ministry preparation, biblical studies, theology, world religions, and counseling. She says, “By utilizing what I have learned in all of my classes, I have become a better teacher. The more information and understanding I have, helps me present the material in a way that is clearer to those listening to me.”
Kimberly admits that she still doesn’t have all of the answers, but she says, “I am still trusting that God will continue to reveal himself to me in ways that will lead me to his truth.” As she again waits patiently for God’s guidance, she now better understands what it means to be a minister. Wherever her call takes her, she says, “My calling is my gift for the church and it was given to me in order to be shared. My response can only be to continue to explore what has been given to me and to learn how to use it to glorify God and honor him with what I do.”
Kimberly currently serves as the minister of evangelism and outreach at Unity Christian Church International in Fayetteville where she was ordained on May 4, 2014. She plans to continue in this capacity after graduation. She hopes that it will give her the opportunity to plan and lead short term mission trips. In addition to local church ministry, Kim has accepted a position as an admissions coordinator at Campbell.
Kimberly says, “When I first walked through the doors of Taylor Hall, I was unsure of where God was taking me, but now, I am able to exit with better appreciation and acceptance of my calling.”