ARC Women Spotlight | Lexie Centers
Our featured ARC Woman this month is Lexie Centers, who alongside her husband, planted Riverland Church in Summerville, South Carolina in January 2014. Having spent the first year filling a lot of different roles within their church, she has now settled into directing their kids’ ministry and went back to being a full-time middle school teacher during the school year. Wife, mom (to 2 teenagers no less!), teacher, ministry partner… she is definitely someone we can all relate to. We love her honesty and hope a small part of her story will help encourage you today no matter where you are in your journey!
Name: Lexie Centers
Church and City: Riverland Church, Summerville, SC (Charleston, SC area)
Launch Date: January 26, 2014
Current Role (if any): Riverland Kids Director
Family: Husband Jeff; son Jaron (14), and daughter Phoebe (12)
What were your feelings when your husband told you that God had called him to plant a church (or in some cases, when you both felt that way)?
Speechless is the only word that can describe my thoughts when Jeff told me he wanted to plant a church. After the shock wore off, fear and excitement began to interchange themselves into my daily life. One day I would be filled with God’s call and the next I would be filled with fear and anxiety. Eventually, God spoke to my heart and mind enough that His call outweighed my fear.
Tell us about a time that you were in complete awe of what God can do during your time as a planter’s or pastor’s wife:
A huge sign for me was when our house sold in one day for full asking price in a very depressed area of the state. We didn’t even use a realtor! It became pretty clear that God wanted us to move!
For you personally, what was your biggest challenge or struggle during the planting process and what did you learn from it?
For us it was the strain on our marriage. I had always felt our 15-year marriage was strong and steady, but the stress and strain of planting a church in a place where we knew nobody with zero experience was tough. We fought more in the 6 months before our launch than we did in the the first 6 months of our marriage! Through another ARC church in our community, we were extended the opportunity to go to marital counseling free of charge and this has been amazing. Our marriage is now stronger than ever and we think every single couple planting a church should have make sure they have something like this! Never be afraid to ask for help in the areas where you’re struggling.
How has being a part of the ARC Women community been a benefit to you?
I can honestly say that my ARC Women online group was my life line during that first year. I would have lost my mind without those new friends. Those women were my go-to in times of despair, fear, and lack of faith. Their stories would inspire me and keep me from focused on the big picture instead of focusing on my “little” problems! Today, one of the women I met in my group is one of my best friends who I talk to every single day!
What was one thing you wish you knew before planting a church?
I wish I had known how planting a church would affect my marriage. Our marriage is so much stronger now, but at times I wish I had had a mentor or someone who could have helped me see how I could have supported my husband instead of battling him! Ministry is a team effort!