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January 20th, 2014

Get to Know Your Minister: Vicki Howell
Get to Know Your Minister: Vicki Howell

Name: Vicki Howell
Title: Community Missions Minister
Ministry: Missions

PERSONAL
Where are you from originally?
Cairo, Georgia

What schools did you graduate from?
Belmont University (Undergrad)
New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (Graduate)

What's your personal testimony?
I grew up in a Christian home—not just by title. I saw real faith lived out in front of me everyday as we walked through several struggles together as a family. In the midst of difficult times, my family would always point back to God’s love and provision. My little family traveled and sang as well (yes, we were one of those families). So I grew up not just hearing the God story, but singing about it as well. I knew all of these things but hadn’t made a personal commitment to Christ until I was 10 years old at a Billy Graham crusade. That's when my faith and relationship with Christ became real. I'd hit several ups and downs in my faith journey but thankfully I never doubted Christ’s love for me and what He did on the cross so that I might live.

What's your husband's name?
Tony Howell

Do you have kids? If so, how many?
We're expecting twins now! These will be our first.

MINISTRY
What's your philosophy and heartbeat for ministry?
As I look at community ministry and the call that we have to our neighbors, I can't help but find my heart recalling Ecclesiastes 4:9-10: “Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their efforts. For if either falls, his companion can lift him up; but pity the one who falls without another to lift him up." In being called to be the hands and feet of Christ, we're called to journey beside our neighbors—those we know and don't know—in good and hard things. And although it may be for a moment or season, many times it may be for a longer. Our place is to have open hearts, lives, and willingness to step out in obedience. God will direct our paths to where we need to be.

Where did you serve before Brentwood Baptist?
I've served in several roles and places:
• For years, I worked with Student Events at Lifeway;
• I helped start an Urban Youth Camp with Colorado Christian University;
• I did contract work with International World Changers and Thirst Missions
• I've led international missions journeys and did site set-up
• Most recently, I worked with Gaylord Opryland’s fashion and apparel buyers for all retail properties (while still taking the opportunity to continue in some mission contract opportunities on the side).

What's your vision for Brentwood Baptist?
For our church family to fall in love with their community, recognizing they have gifts to use and the need is real and vast. Let’s show our community what the love of Christ looks like!

What's one cool God-story from your time here?
There are many, but I'd say one would be how some of our Brentwood Baptist families were able to serve together this past fall through a “We Serve” Family Mission Event that we were piloting. These families were able to connect together and go on mission here in the Nashville/Franklin area. Nine-year-olds were able to deliver food to a family in need and tell them a Bible story because they had it drawn out on their arms. It was such fun to see families and individuals with different gifts, talents, and backgrounds come together to build relationships and share the love of Christ in our local neighborhoods. They made wreaths, delivered food, told stories, painted pumpkins, and played games.

JUST FOR FUN
Who's your favorite person in the Bible and why?
There are so many, but I really do like the women in the Bible that take such risks. There are really a ton of gutsy ladies: Ester, Tamar, Rahab, “The Bleeding Women” The lists could go on and on. If you pulled all these ladies together for a day out on the town, I can't imagine walking away without story after story to tell.

If you could ask God one question, what would it be?
Oh my! The pressure for the perfect question. Honestly, I'd probably end up asking something pretty silly to most like: How do you come up with the colors of the sky? Or something like that. I don’t need to understand it all. I really think I'd prefer to spend my “question” time wrapped up in a bear hug.

What do you like to do in your free time?
I treasure my friends and family. I love to hang out with them, in good conversation, playing games, watching movies, and laughing. If money were no object? Travel, travel, travel. I love to explore new places and meet new people. I love a good hike, beach time, or going out for dinner and a show.

What are three things people should know about you?
1. In college, I taught ballroom dance for Arthur Murray Dance Studios.
2. My first trip to Disney World was when I was eight weeks old and I've been sold out ever since.
3. I love life and look forward to new adventures.

What are three words that describe you?
Passionate, Committed, Loves People