Being the the daughter of a courtroom defense attorney and a speech therapist, both elders in the PC(USA), pulpit ministry just seemed to slip into my psyche as a natural possibility. After graduating from Pine Bluff High School, I went straight to Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee; then, Southwestern-at-Memphis. I was actually in the last class to receive a SAM diploma, and never updated it to Rhodes.
Graduating with a degree in English & Psychology left me with few “marketable skills,” so I did what any new college grad would do – with a college friend, I sat in my childhood bedroom, a map of the United States in front of us, eyes closed, and wherever our fingers landed, that’s where we would ‘seek our next adventure.’ Boston, Massachusetts, here we come!! I worked as a secretary for a couple of years, then took the L-SAT (Law School Admissions Test) while in Boston. Fayetteville encouraged me to apply, but a friend asked if I would ever be really happy doing anything other than ministry. Standing in front of a bank of phones (that dates it) in Beth-Israel Med. Center where I worked part-time, I said, “NOPE!” Two months later I was in seminary. I took an MATS from G-CTS, and finished an MDiv from APTS (ouch, all the letters…). While at APTS, I met my life-partner, John Arnold, who is also a constant source of entertainment and adventure. You guessed it – adventure is a part of our family DNA. We love it!! Because the world of Harry Potter was such a huge part of our children’s world – especially Ruth’s – I fell in love with science-fiction fantasy. I found the same genre in the pages of Scripture, known as apocalyptic literature; so, I studied it, preached it, and got a DMin for my efforts!
We added Ruth to the Arnold Adventure in 1993, while in Danville, Illinois; and Matthew in 1996, while in Logansport, Indiana. I returned to Arkansas Presbytery, Arnold Family in tow, in 2000 when John and I answered a call as Co-Pastors of FPC, Hot Springs. In 2008 we continued our adventure as Co-Pastors of FPC, Texarkana. Ruth brought Kyle Amensen into the adventure in 2019.
Besides getting to practice the best profession in the entire world; ministry, I love working in the yard, bike riding, jogging, reading fiction, watching movies (I LOVE STORIES!!!), and cooking with John. I am so excited about my new Prius – 50 mpg!!! – because at this stage of life I drive A LOT!! John and I have a home in Jonesboro. I work in Wynne. I visit my mom in Pine Bluff every 4 to 6 weeks. And we impose ourselves on our children in Little Rock/Conway all the time!! They are fun to be around – and they still tolerate us fairly graciously.