Kristi McElheney Children's Pastor

My Story:
I became a Christian when I was seven. I was invited one day to vacation Bible school with my next-door neighbor. It was that day that Christ changed my life forever. I grew up in a Christian home, a very “Leave it to Beaver” life. From my perspective, it was near perfect. But regardless of how great my home-life was, my preteen, teen, and young adult years were wrought with insecurity, mostly stemming from peer teasing. I struggled intensely with feelings of hurt and pain, often going home from school and crying. I know without a doubt it was my relationship with Christ that kept me going in those years.

When I was in college I met my husband, Walter, at church. He was already out of college and working. We married after dating about a year and a half. We have three amazing children (Ryan, Wesley, and Becka) who are now grown. God used the years of raising our kids to prepare me for what He had planned for me, ministry with children. It was through my own child’s difficulties with ADHD type behavior, that God gave me a heart to understand, love, and help children be successful, regardless of their behaviors or struggles. And to now see how God grew my child through those difficulties is also remarkable.

I grew up in a family that loved and played bluegrass music. We loved music in our house, we even had a family band. I have music in my heart. So, my go-to for serving God was always in worship. When God called me into Children’s ministry, I strongly resisted. But as I finally obeyed His call, I saw how He knows me so much better than I know myself. His ways are perfect. I served for almost fifteen years at my previous church in elementary ministry and loved every minute of it. Once again, God called me in a different direction, and once again, I resisted. But His ways are perfect, and I am so thankful to have obeyed His call to be a part of this ministry at Fellowship. I look forward to seeing what God has in store for me here.

My Purpose:
I have a huge heart for relationships and people. I want every person to sense God’s love I love connecting with and encouraging people to see themselves as God sees them, as “fearfully and wonderfully made.”

My Job:
As children’s pastor, I get to be crazy, act a like a child, AND I get to love on His kids and His families. Who could ask for more? It’s my privilege to teach kids the foundations of faith and nurture them to a close and loving relationship with Christ, helping them find their identity and purpose in Him.

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