Tell us about your family.
I grew up outside of St. Louis, Missouri where I lived in the same house until I was 18 years old. I went to the same school from kindergarten through high school and grew up attending a small, pentecostal church. I never had much change in my life until I felt the Lord lead me to Lee University, eight and a half hours away from home where I didn’t know a single person. My husband and I met on our very first day of college. We both started out as music majors, so we shared the same vocal teacher and voice lab. I loved listening to him sing every week, and always laughed when he forgot the words. We were married the summer between our Junior and Senior year and quickly found that we made a great team when working together in ministry. My husband, Jesse Mertens, now serves as the Worship Pastor here at LBC. We are coming up on our 5th wedding anniversary, and we just welcomed our first little one into the world in March 2021, Parker Alexander Mertens.
When/How did you begin your relationship with Jesus Christ?
My parents raised me in church and also made huge sacrifices in their life to send my older brother and me to a private, Christian school. With both sets of grandparents being saved as well as most of my aunts, uncles, and cousins, I was surrounded by Christianity growing up and all the “rules” that followed. As a kid, I knew that I needed to obey and follow the “rules” set out in the Bible. As I got older, I watched people around me live their lives differently from me, and I realized that I needed a reason for living life the way I did (and something other than, because that’s what I was told to do). I like to say that I made my faith my own when I was 15 years old. It was at this time that I developed my own, personal relationship with Jesus Christ and decided that I would live my life in obedience to Him. I loved the idea that there was a Creator God who cared for me and wanted a relationship with me.
How did you come to Lonoke Baptist Church?
My husband, Jesse, was on the job hunt when we were connected with Lonoke Baptist. We had also just found out that we were pregnant, so we knew we weren’t just looking for a job, but a new home to raise our son. We prayed and prayed and prayed about coming to Lonoke since we had no family in the area, and when we came to visit for the first time, we were so moved by the amazing community. We had never before been in a church that made us feel SO welcomed and SO loved even from our first encounter.
What is your favorite scripture?
2 Samuel 22 is David’s Song of Praise after the Lord delivers him from enemies and from the hand of Saul. I love this whole passage, but the first few verses always stick with me. “The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge, and my savior—from violent people you save me. I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and have been saved from my enemies.”
What is your favorite thing about your job?
I love that I get to work so closely with each of the staff members here at LBC. I believe that God has appointed each one of them for this season and for a specific purpose, and it’s so special to get to work alongside such an incredible team of creative ministers. I also love all the faces that I get to see and talk to while manning the front desk, so come by anytime and say hi!
What is the best thing you’ve ever eaten?
You can find a similar response on my husband’s info page, but every now and again we get to go to The Capital Grille. This is a very special spot for Jesse and me, so we keep it as an anniversary destination and try to go every year. I always get a steak, and it never fails to be the best steak I’ve ever had in my life. There’s nothing else quite like it.
What is your favorite TV show/movie?
For TV Show: I have watched The Office more than I would like to admit…
For Movie: Oh Brother Where Art Thou – great storyline, great acting, great cinematography, great music… What more could you ask for?
Sidenote: I love all things Disney and Pixar
What are your hobbies?
I really enjoy keeping up with the latest movies and tv shows. I also like almost any kind of game and love playing games with friends and family!
What is one thing that people would be surprised to know about you?
In high school, my best subject was Science. I took every accelerated course that I could and I got a 4 on my AP Chemistry exam. I loved studying science and was initially planning on going to school to become a laboratory technician before the Lord moved me to join the music program at Lee University.
If you weren’t doing your job now, what job would you have?
I would definitely be in the event planning business or in a support position for a company in the digital media space.