When Belinda Selfridge was asked if she’d consider serving as the family pastor at Sent Church in Plano, Texas, she thought church leaders asked the wrong person. Today, Belinda, a bass guitar player and motorcyclist, breaks the mold as a second generation Wesleyan pastor.
After all, even though Belinda has attended the church for years, she is single and doesn’t have children. What could someone who doesn’t have a husband or children possibly know about ministering to young families? However, when asked to take the role in June 2014, leaders at Sent Church didn’t have a single reservation about her ability to do the job well. Church staff noticed her passion for children and knew she’d do an excellent job of shepherding kids, encouraging parents, and resourcing families as a whole.
On average, close to 90 children, between newborns to seniors in high school, are part of Sent family ministry environments. And Belinda knows many of those families.
“I already had relationships with so many families at church, and leaders were looking for someone who can point families to resources and help them,” said Belinda. As Sent’s family pastor, Belinda is privileged to pour into moms, an opportunity she does not take lightly.
A lifelong Wesleyan and pastor’s kid, Belinda will participate in ALIVE 2015, the upcoming women’s conference of The Wesleyan Church that will take place in April. Belinda will serve as a panelist in a life track breakout session, focusing of purposeful singleness.
One of Belinda’s earliest memories includes walking the aisle to the altar during church camp where she placed her faith in Jesus at age three. Even from that young age, faith was part of her heritage. Her father is a retired Wesleyan pastor, and many of Belinda’s childhood memories center on attending church events, participating in family devotions at breakfast, and watching her parents read the Bible regularly.
Belinda served in various capacities within the church growing up, as it was modeled well by her parents. But she’s quick to note that her family isn’t perfect. They endured challenges like any family and had disagreements. And Belinda has known some unfulfilled dreams.
“My plan was to hopefully marry a pastor,” said Belinda. “My brother is a lead pastor at a Wesleyan church, and my sister is married to a Wesleyan pastor. It’s very much the fabric of our family.” Even though that hope still lives in Belinda’s heart she has embraced the life God has given her.
“I am not a bitter single,” she said. “I’d love to be married someday, but I don’t feel like I’ve been disobedient or missing something, either. This is the opportunity I’ve been given, so what can I do with what God has given me?”
“I’ve known Belinda for the past 16 years, and she consistently inspires me to grow,” said Jenn Petersen, worship and outreach pastor at Sent Church. “She exemplifies authenticity. Her faith, her passion for a close relationship with Christ, her hunger for the Word–it’s all contagious. After every conversation with her, I walk away encouraged, empowered, and excited to hear from the Lord. She’s the real deal.” Jenn also serves as director of programming for ALIVE 2015.
The Bartlesville Wesleyan College–now Oklahoma Wesleyan University–graduate is looking ahead to ALIVE 2015 in Nashville.
“I hope to be an encouragement to others . . . to take hold of the season God has them in, whether short or lifelong,” said Belinda. “I want to pour into others.” She also wants to display a teachable spirit as she antipicates how God wants to move in her heart at ALIVE.
“What does God want to show us through this experience and how we can be building each other up in Christ, reaching a world that is lost?”
For more information about ALIVE, click here.