Many of the Elders within the Free Methodist Church (FMC) serve as husband and wife teams. Kate and Leif Wallace Nunneley were ordained together at Annual Conference 2021.
My first memorable experience with God was at the age of 12 while sitting in a Sunday morning worship service in my neighborhood church. One of the elders was singing an old song about a potter and a broken vessel. The lyrics of that song became as the words of God speaking life to my soul’s condition perfectly that day. Listen to these words:
The Potter, He saw a vessel that had been broken by the wind and the rain. He sought with so much compassion to make it over again. Oh, I was that vessel that no one thought was good, I cried, “Lord, You’re the Potter,” “and I am the clay,” “make me over again today”.
Then God picked up the pieces of my broken heart that day.
And He made me a new vessel, and revived my soul again.
My life was changed forever that morning when I confessed my sins, proclaimed Jesus Christ as Lord, and received the gift of salvation. I have been walking with God ever since and endeavoring to become a true follower of Christ.
Concerning how I chose to follow Christ, I actually made a deal with God at that early age. I had become weary with adults who were telling me and other youth to live for God one way, but I saw some of them making contrary choices with their own lives. I told God that if he showed me an adult who was actually living what he/she was teaching and preaching, I would give my life to Him. God met my challenge in the person of my former pastor of over 40 years at that same little church on the corner called Calvary Immanuel Church. He was living the life of a Christian complete with the fruit of the Spirit being manifested in and through his life.
How did the Spirit guide you to your current ministry and what has God called you to do through your ministry?
I truly believe that the Spirit of God has led me to my current ministry through a lifetime of God-ordained events, exemplary training both inside and outside the church, and divine encounters. My journey has not been the easiest, but I can testify that the Lord has never left me nor forsaken me just as He promised in His word. The church where I received Christ and served for 43 years came to an abrupt end one Sunday morning during what would become our last worship service in September of 2017. I, very quickly, gained a new appreciation for the Scripture in Psalm 46:10 that says in part, “Be still and know that I am God; . . . “ I’ve suffered enough hardships in ministry to know that God uses our wilderness experiences to help transform us into disciples of Jesus. It’s through my challenges that I have developed a passion for helping other ministers and volunteers to weather the storms and fulfill the call of God upon their lives.
I’ll share what Pastor Charles said to me one morning over breakfast as he ministered to me in my brokenness; despite the disappointments and failures along with new learnings and successes of life and ministry “no time has been wasted and you will land well.” I pray that I’ll never forget those prophetic words of life and strength.
Now, I can truly see how God has called me to minister to ministers as the Associate Pastor of Ministers at Light and Life West. This calling also involves helping to strengthen families which starts with my own wife and daughter. Ultimately, I cannot truly serve others from a healthy place where God’s Spirit abides unless my own soul mass is being fortified through a life of worship, prayer, and the word of God.
How did you come to first be involved with the Free Methodist Church and why have you chosen to continue your ministry in the Free Methodist Church?
My first encounter with the Free Methodist church happened in the Fall of 2017 when my wife (Yvette), our adult daughter (Nyla), and I began visiting Light and Life West in the city of Long Beach, CA where Superintendent Charles Latchison is the lead pastor. After experiencing the people loving people at West and having several meaningful encounters with God there, we decided to make Light and Life West our new church home.
The interesting thing is that our daughter actually joined the church before we did. This was an overwhelming blessing to me realizing the unfortunate circumstances under which we found ourselves seeking a new church home. Only weeks prior to our daughter joining West, our previous church had abruptly closed its doors and would no longer be the place where our family would gather to worship corporately. A few weeks later, after my wife returned from a trip to visit her mom and siblings, she and I became members of West together. After what we had been through, and seeing how God had met each of us at West, we were convinced that we had found our new church home. Who knew it was a Free Methodist Church? 🙂
I have chosen to continue my ministry as a CMC in the Free Methodist Church because I have a passion for serving God. I have learned that I can fulfill this desire by serving others so that they may have a personal encounter with God. While taking the Free Methodist courses History and Polity along with Wesleyan Theology, I discovered The Five Freedoms of the Free Methodist Church and I believe in them. I can see through Scripture that these core freedoms are rooted in foundational Bible doctrine. Those freedoms are:
Freedom of All Races to Worship Together in Unity
Freedom of Women and Men to be Treated Respectfully and Use Their Gifts Equally in the Church, Home and World
Freedom of the Poor to be treated with Dignity in the Church and With Justice in the World
Freedom of the Laity and Clergy to be Given Equal Authority and Decision-Making Positions Within the Church
Freedom of the Holy Spirit to Inspire Our Worship
Discipleship, family, and prayer are values that I hold dear and have seen at work in the Free Methodist Church.