Family Friendship Leads to Ministry Partnership
Taylor and Karissa Bodoh served as campus missionaries with InterVaristy Christian Fellowship at Florida State University for almost eight years. They have a special passion for empowering young leaders in the Body of Christ, and for calling skeptics to give Jesus a fresh hearing. By God’s grace, their time as campus ministers was extraordinarily fruitful: hundreds of students reached, dozens of new converts to the faith, and many graduates sent out into lay leadership, youth ministry, missions work, or seminary! During that time Bishop Neil and Marcia Lebhar became spiritual parents to the Bodohs. In 2012, Taylor was affirmed as a candidate for ordination by St. Peter’s Anglican Church in Tallahassee, FL and enrolled at Trinity.
When the Bodohs arrived in Ambridge, they were warmly welcomed by their new next-door neighbors Jon and Sarah Hall. Jon and Sarah met during their time at Cambridge in the U.K., where they also served together as students in the campus’ InterVarsity ministry. Recently, Sarah, a Trinity graduate (MDiv 2001), has worked as an adjunct Old Testament professor for both Trinity and Gordon-Conwell, while Jon, formerly an engineer, studied for his MDiv. The Halls have two children, Benjamin and Miriam, who are the same ages as the Bodoh’s daughters, Avila and Norah. A natural friendship emerged between the two families and this bond was strengthened through backyard playtime, shared meals, and group Bible study. In time, a genuine love and mutual admiration grew between the two families.
Last Spring, Bishop Neil asked Taylor to consider planting a new Anglican church in downtown Tallahassee, close to the three college campuses where he and Karissa planted InterVarsity ministries and continue to have many strong relationships. The vision is to plant a “network parish” where multiple congregations might emerge in homes, campuses, and storefronts, under the leadership of lay evangelists and lay catechists. (A similar model is used in many of the Anglican provinces in Africa.)
As the Halls began to pray and discern their post-graduation plans, they became increasingly interested in the Bodoh’s vision of starting a network parish. At the same time, the Bodohs grew excited at the prospect of adding the Halls to the team. With much prayer it was decided, in conjunction with Bishop Neil (who is also Sarah’s father), that the two families should move to Tallahassee in August and plant a church together. Their friendship has grown into a ministry partnership!
Please pray for the Halls and the Bodohs in the months ahead as they continue to make plans and face the many unknowns that come with church planting. They will be aided greatly in this endeavor by the mentorship of St. Peter’s Anglican Church and their close relationships with Bishop Neil and Marcia Lebhar.