For 16 years, Janice Jones worked in technical business and exploration technology for an insurance company. With biology degrees, she also taught and served as an adjunct instructor at Montgomery Community College, now Lone Star College.
But later in life, Jones’ career took a different route — straight into the ministry. She was ordained in 2008 after earning a master’s degree in divinity from the Seminary of the Southwest, and now leads the flock at St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church in Killeen.
Women like Jones who respond to God’s call to alter their careers and serve in the ministry bring a wealth of enlightening experience and knowledge to the churches they serve.
“Much of my life was preparing me for the ministry, but I didn’t know it,” Jones said. “But God has used everything that I have ever learned from business and biology to lead the church.”
Jones is quick to point out that a church is not a business, but it has a lot of business to do. Among her many duties at St. Christopher’s, she is in charge of the church’s budget, makes certain the insurance is covered and serves as chairman of the church’s 84-student preschool.
As with every organization, communication and recognizing goals are keys to the success of any church operation, she said. Another important key is the staff that serves the church, both paid employees and volunteers.
“You have to have the right people in the right places and match the aptitude and needs with the staff,” Jones said.
Jones admits power and money are more readily available in the business world, but she has higher aspirations now.
“God doesn’t call the qualified, God qualifies the called,” she said.
The Rev. Tamara Clothier, deacon at St. Francis Episcopal Church in Temple, received her call to the ministry five years ago and since has merged her love of God with her love of serving the community.
“It’s a blessing, a joy and it feels perfect,” Clothier said. “Everything came together when I listened and paid attention to what I was supposed to do.”
The San Diego native has lived in the Temple area for 20 years. She works as the senior administrative coordinator for student affairs at the Texas A&M University College of Medicine. Clothier attended the IONA School of Ministry and was ordained in 2013. She earned bachelor degrees in both psychology and business, and previously worked for New York Life Insurance Co.
Clothier cites several management skills that she uses daily in her role in the church. “Good organization of time and people is required, and it is so important in order to get all the work done. We have to remain vigilant,” she said.
Through her calling, Clothier has gained a better understanding of what her position means to others.
“I’ve learned to be aware of my authority over people,” she said. “That is one adjustment I’ve had to make as a deacon.”
Her work in the ministry brings Clothier a lot of satisfaction as she interacts with people and watches them grow. That experience also rejuvenates her after a tiring day.
“Each time I enter the church, I get my energy back and I’m ready for more,” she said.