"As a preacher’s kid, I would often sneak into the big, unlocked country church where my father was the pastor. I would make my way to the platform, imagining the wooden pews filled with people ready to hear me preach. I would shout out my message, usually repeating the sermon I had heard my father give the previous Sunday. Other times I would rally the neighborhood kids to “play” church, again giving a message, to a live audience seated on turned over buckets, lawn chairs or a dusty, garage floor."
My desire and passion for speaking is not new. My childhood provided me with a wide variety of ministry and faith experiences that fanned my heart’s desire to be involved in full time ministry. I found myself from infancy through high school at church most every time the doors were open. I loved listening in on my Dad’s conversations with church leaders or when he would lead someone into a personal faith. He was known by some as “PB”, but mostly as Pastor Button. Church life was my life and I loved it!
Somewhere in between childhood and now, life happened. After graduating from college in Canada, I began married life and the joys of parenting, all the while welcoming opportunities to speak and be involved with ministry through our home and the local church. My life verse is from Colossians 3:23, “Whatever you do, do it with all your heart…” Whether it be parenting, volunteering, or doing ministry, I feel we are to do it with all our hearts – giving with excellence because the second part of Colossians 3:23 says, “…as unto the Lord and not people.” I want to give Him my best and encourage others to give their best!
Most recently I served on the ministry staff at Mt. Pleasant Community Church, Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. For over 18 years I was the Director of Children’s, Women’s, and the Sr. Fellowship ministries, along with creating and leading a variety of unique, one-of-a-kind outreach events. I created six thematic summer children’s programs that grew from 100 to over 750 children attending and 500 volunteers participating. It was a joy and privilege to use the gifts and abilities God has given me to help young and old take their first or next steps in their faith journey.
I am at a time in my life where I want to be more available for speaking opportunities and for fresh ways that God wants to use my gifts and abilities or ministry experiences. Whether it be to encourage the local church or camp ministries, to equip and motivate parents and strengthen families, or share the many passions of my heart. I look forward to sharing in retreat settings, Sunday morning worships services, at family camps, children’s ministry conferences, Mom’s Groups or with a small group of ministry leaders.
It’s a new season of ministry for my life and I’m really excited to do it with my whole heart!
Kathy has been married for 35 years to Dr. Ed Long, Professor of Family Studies at Central Michigan University. They have two married children, Toby Long, a Family Physician and Tarami Sherlock, an Elementary Teacher and School Counselor. Ed and Kathy have four grandchildren.