My name is Jaime Denton and I am a Christ ambassador. I’ve come to realize how being a follower of God innately means to be a leader among people. I grew up in a Navy family, moving every year or two and traveling often. My upbringing was strongly Christian, as my father was a Chaplain and my mother was devotedly active in the church. Believing in God was effortless. I became a Christian at age five and thought I was joining a worldwide “cult of kindness” that existed as an after-effect of God’s love (1 John 4:19). The theme of Christian leadership was central to my life, always being coached to think of myself as a Christ ambassador for both God and country.
The older I grew, the more disappointed and embittered I became with any system that allowed for duplicity. At age eleven, I announced to my family that I still believed in God but would no longer call myself a Christian. At age fourteen, I read a book that changed the trajectory of my whole life: “Pagan Christianity” by Frank Viola and George Barna. The book examined how paganism influenced the early church and had developed many damaging traditions still being carried today. I was heartbroken yet wildly ecstatic: God was being misrepresented! Then, at age sixteen, my mother gave me the book “Memoir of a Misfit: Finding My Place in the Family of God” by Marcia Ford. Maybe there was a place for me, too, in the family after all.
Years later, I’m now being led to study biblical hermeneutics, ecclesiology, and other subjects at CLI that will help me better recognize misinformation and live with greater purpose. I have a Bachelor’s in Psychology, so cannot financially continue higher education. I’m deeply grateful for this opportunity with Christian Leaders Institute that will be pivotal in my personal journey and will, in turn, help others. As a Christ ambassador, I’ve worked as a social worker for the homeless, an advocate for refugee immigrants, and a handyman “foot-washer” doing home repairs for impoverished widows, single moms, and other vulnerable people. While I may never preach from a pulpit, there’s nowhere I could go that wouldn’t benefit from what I’ll learn here at Christian Leaders Institute.
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