By Clayton Rhodes
My wife and I met at a small group Bible study hosted at my home when we served alongside one another as leaders of the singles’ ministry at our church. My work as a missions coordinator, Compassion international Child Advocate, and Small Group leader/coach has given me a passion for church community and spiritual growth within the Body of Christ as well as a deep commitment and love for pastoral ministry.
Prior to our marriage, my wife and I began discussing my call to ministry and our dreams of what that would look like for our family. With my wife’s support and encouragement I began my pursuit of a Masters of Biblical Studies.
I first looked into attending Grace School of Theology based on the recommendation of my pastors and a few friends who had audited several classes. In addition, before being introduced to Grace, I had all but given up on the possibility of attending seminary due to the overall cost. Grace offered a program I could afford and a schedule that fit my work and home life.
In November 2013, my wife and I began working as Marketing/ Fundraising Coordinators with Child Legacy International’s Clean Water Climb. Child Legacy International is a Christian non-profit organization working in Africa to transform lives through the Gospel of Jesus Christ, by providing access to clean water, proper nutrition, medical care, education and training. Child Legacy has been repairing water wells since 2008, and even though they have repaired over 1,600 broken pumps in Malawi, which impacts over 3.2 million (20% of the country population), there is still a great need. More than 40% of hand pumps in the rural areas are non-functioning, meaning that millions of Malawians must find alternative water sources, and most of those sources are unprotected. We are raising awareness and funds to repair broken water wells.
I am also the founder of T3 Mentors, Inc. We are a 501c3 Christian mentoring organization. T3 Mentors is a program that is in direct response to the growing number of teenagers that are either falling through the cracks in our communities or are already entangled with the juvenile court system. The program identifies young men who are going to have a turbulent transition to adulthood and offer a positive support system to avoid the pitfalls that can derail their lives. T3 Mentors programs will introduce teenagers to the Gospel, provide Biblical teaching, character and life skill development, career planning and educational assistance.
I am also serving as Co-Founder and current Chairman of the Board for 45 & Hope homeless ministry in Houston, TX, providing leadership and technical support to retain a 501c3 status. 45 & Hope has over 5 years of consecutive Saturdays feeding the homeless along the Houston I45 North corridor.
I also serve as a Compassion International Child Advocate for Houston, TX. Providing encouragement and leadership by integrating the plight of impoverished children into the culture of the church through fundraising, sponsorship and mission’s organization.
Over the last 6 years attending Grace, I feel that my spiritual growth and maturity have increased tremendously. Grace has helped me to form a firm foundation for my current and future ministry. The greatest impact has come from the faculty. Each of the professors that I have taken classes under not only are great teachers but also have qualities that I look at and can say, “When I become a pastor, I want to pastor like that.”
Grace is the limitless, unrestrained love of God for sinners. God Himself works out this love in accordance with His unchanging righteousness, through the sacrifice of Christ. Grace is not withheld because of sin, it is not weakened or diminished because of sin, it cannot incur a debt and it requires no payment from the sinner. Grace is an unmerited free gift. Grace is love set free.