Barbara Gradke

Women’s Minister

I grew up in the church and have great memories of attending church with my parents, grandparents, siblings and cousins as a little girl. I attended a Christian Summer Camp and was active in Youth Group. I believe it was during this time that the foundation of my faith began to form. I was baptized at 17 years old at camp. As a college student, my faith began to grow. For the first time in my life, I began to study the Word for myself. As a young wife and mom, I was thirsty for the Word. I needed to be filled up, and through Bible Class and Women’s Bible Study, I began to have a deeper understanding that God loved me first, and that “my works” could not save me. My salvation came from the Lord’s goodness, His grace and His mercy. Being a parent made me realize I was not in control. God was in control and I needed to have faith and trust in Him to carry us through our trials.

Jeremiah 29:12-13 always resonated with me profoundly. You will call out to me. You will come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. When you look for me with all your heart, you will find me. I believe I searched the world and came up empty. I searched for Jesus and I found him. I believe he has never left my side, that he loves me, and that I can go to him with anything and he will listen. I want EVERYONE to know this is a promise from God, because he loved us first!

After leaving my full time job to stay at home, I realized I still needed a community to belong to. I began working at Young Children’s World as a teacher two days a week. YCW was a huge blessing to our family. I worked for YCW for 10 years as a teacher, chapel teacher, 3-yr old director, and office manager. In 2009, I accepted a full-time position in kids ministry as the nursery and childcare director. In 2017, I became women’s minister and I am excited to see what God will continue to do with that role!

My hope for The Hills is to always be a growing church, always moving forward to expand the kingdom in a way that brings glory and honor to the Father.