The Kern Center for Vocational Ministry invited pastor Cheryl Fletcher to speak at the Student Pastor Forum on Wednesday, Sept. 30. Fletcher met with APU students in Adams Lounge to discuss her call to ministry while continuing the conversation from her sermon in chapel that morning.
Fletcher posed this question to the student body: “Where are you?”
Her answer: “Where you are is in Him. Those who belong to Jesus are in Jesus.” She gave students the opportunity to ask questions through the course of the event.
The forum started when Fletcher gave students insight into her life prior to her decision to become a pastor.
Fletcher grew up in Redlands and attended Baylor University as a double major in journalism and religion. At Baylor, she decided she wanted to become a pastor after doing volunteer work with the Young Life organization. After attending her first Young Life training night, she knew that she was called to ministry and joined the staff in 1985.
“I thought God made Young Life for me,” Fletcher said. “I was passionate about evangelism. I wanted to be a person who told people about Jesus.”
A friend at Young Life asked her, “If you could do anything, what would you do?” “College ministry,” Fletcher answered. This led her to begin her journey in that field for the next 12 years.
Once she decided to leave Texas, she found herself in a state of transition to a new ministry. She chose to accept a job at Christian Assembly in Eagle Rock, California, where she has been the Pastor of Women and Community Life for the past seven and a half years.
However, in the early years, as she adjusted to a new job and life in a new state, she said she struggled with confidence. “[There was] a lurking, creeping feeling in the back of my mind: ‘Can I do this?'” Fletcher said. “The mistake that I made in my first year here was trying to prove myself.” Fletcher maintains quiet time and recommends students do the same.
As an APU staff member since 2008, Freddy Rivas works closely with Chapel Programs to make sure the guest speakers “speak in the lives of students.” Rivas said Chapel Programs invites both well-known pastors and local pastors in hopes of having a wide variety of speakers throughout the semester.
Sophomore youth ministries major Colin Magnusson said he liked the illustrations Fletcher made in chapel with empty boxes, which portrayed Christians within Christ.
“It’s the idea of the Christian walk here at APU,” Magnusson said. “It is the tireless effort to promote Jesus in ways that look popular to others. I was reminded today that knowing God covers all of the work it takes to be a walking billboard for Jesus.”