Ordination for Ministers
Hello. My name is Elizabeth Goodspeed, and here is my journey toward ordination for ministers. I currently reside in Missouri. I was born into a military family that traveled all over the world. By the time I was 13 years old, I had circumnavigated the globe by many planes and qualified pilots.
Early Church Life
Always challenged by each new duty station we moved to, Christ and God were my steady rock. As a family, we attended chapel services every Sunday. In our ecumenical services, we sang the hymns of generations past and honored the Christian traditions in the armed forces. At home, we prayed before our meals and prayed when we were in some crisis, whether emotional or physical. When challenges came before us, we went to the Bible to gain strength and resolution. When we lived in Jakarta, Indonesia, and our church was threatened with an attack by the local community, my father held a family service in our living room.
The problem was that the church for my family was a social norm and requirement. It was not a heartfelt desire of the soul to have an authentic relationship with God. On Sunday, we put on our Sunday best, and by Monday, we were deep into the trenches of society life. The Bible was a reference book that sat on the bookshelf until needed. Though I was well versed in Biblical stories and hymns, I lacked a personal connection to our Lord.
As a young teenager, I had a near-death experience at an unfortunate swimming event. After begging God to remove the pain of drowning, I found myself in complete and utter darkness. It was terrifying. I cried out to God, and in return, God responded with a pinprick of light. That pinprick of light shattered the darkness.
Unfortunately, I found myself unable to move toward the light. I tried everything, reciting the Lord’s prayer, specific scriptures, and Psalms without any progress. When I became exhausted, I cried out to Jesus from my heart, and I moved toward the light. The light is magnificent. I knew as I traveled that God was God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. The glory of the light made me praise God. I had to glorify the Lord along with the angels as I traveled in the light. As I glorified God, I went to a room where I learned I had to return to Earth since I had more work to complete.
After graduating from high school, I attended the University of Connecticut for my bachelor’s degree. With pressure from my family, I choose a field of study that was their expectation rather than mine. Just before graduating, I found myself sitting in the pews of the church on campus, asking God for direction. I heard God say, “I want you to teach.” I argued with God that teaching was discouraged by my family since the pay was inadequate, and the hours were long. And, what would I teach anyway? God said, “Look up.” As I looked up, I saw the minister walking toward me. I heard God say that is what I want you to teach. My response to God was a laugh like Sarah in the Bible, “Ha! I am a woman; I cannot teach the Bible.”
Dismissing God’s instruction, I went into the retail world and found myself completely miserable. With the intervention of one of God’s angels (a story for another time), I found myself going back to school for a second degree and a teaching certificate. Still, I heard God saying I want you to teach the Bible.
Journey to Ordination for Ministers
While teaching, I met and married my husband. With almost 30 years of committed life together, we have learned a lot about ourselves. God blessed us with two beautiful daughters. As I raised my girls, I determined not to raise them as only “Sunday service” Christians. I wanted them to have a fuller Christian life. We went to services on Wednesday and Sunday. I read the Bible to them, and they read the Bible to me. We were a family that volunteered in the church for the mission of the church. At every opportunity, I reminded my family that I KNOW the God of the Bible is real and that Jesus is the truth, the light, and the way.
By the time my daughters were in middle school, I was working in higher education. I taught the Bible through personal testimony and Sunday School. With much soul searching, I knew that God wanted me to be more than a Sunday School teacher. Because of my near-death experience, I felt the stirring to lead His church, not just teach in His church.
CLI Training toward Ordination for Ministers
A couple of years back, I enrolled in seminary only to find the cost was incredibly prohibiting. With the accumulating cost of my two daughters’ college education, my seminary tuition became utterly unaffordable. One day, I prayed to God, “Please, find me free tuition to do the job you have asked me to do.” In my determination, I went to the internet and found the Christian Leaders Institute. I cried when I realized this was an authentic program to raise up leaders in God’s church that was free for the asking. God provided. God answered my prayer.
Now it is my responsibility to do the work that is needed to teach and preach the wonderful saving grace of Jesus Christ. God’s Word is truth, and I tell that to anyone that will listen. I give my near-death testimony to military chaplains and ministers who may question specific truths or Biblical passages. Not that I know the answers, but that my near-death experience was authentic. In my community, when I encounter those of other faiths, I give my near-death testimony to touch them in love with the truth of Jesus Christ.
Ordination for Ministers
My academic goals with Christian Leaders Institute include Licensed Christian Wedding Officiant, Ordained Deacon, and Chaplain Minister. For the military community, I currently serve, the ordination for ministers’ credentials with Christian Leaders Alliance will be recognized and used for my ministry service. Also, I am currently working on a book describing my near-death experience.
Acts 20:24 (NIV) “However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.”