Missions work has been part of Rev. Karen Tyler’s life and faith from the time she was a freshman in high school in southeast Texas, where she lived most of her life.
church, you are in a small group, you study your Bible, and you do missions work,” she says. “That’s what it means to follow Jesus — to love God and love others by doing all those things.”
But that focus on serving Jesus and helping others didn’t start then, and it didn’t happen just in the church building.
“I have had an active faith my entire life,” she continues. “My dad was an interim music minister and volunteer Bible teacher, and we were always in church. We lived out our faith not only in church but at home and in our lives. We were ‘Jesus people’ all week long. We loved Jesus and served Him with our whole heart, and that’s the way we all grew up.”
When Karen was 16 years old, she realized God was calling her into the ministry. However, because she wasn’t sure exactly what God was calling her to do, she didn’t answer the call. Instead, she decided to pursue a degree in pharmacy from the University of Houston to help people. As she says, “Being a pharmacist gave me a different mission field.”
After working in hospitals as a pharmacist, she began her journey to ministry in 2005 when she planted At the Water’s Edge, a missional community-based, non-denominational church with Wesleyan theology. From there, she served in multiple ministry positions before joining the pastoral staff at Cedar Bayou Grace Church in Baytown, Texas, where she served for eight years before coming to The Woodlands Methodist Church.
To advance her ministry, Karen completed a course of study from Perkins School of Theology at SMU and Candler School of Theology at Emory. She is currently enrolled in an advanced course of study at Duke Divinity School with a projected completion date of October 2022.
“To me the world is rapidly changing right now, and we are at a pivotal point,” she shares. “What I am most excited about is learning how God is at work and how that may even be changing post-COVID. By looking at all the changes in the world in the last couple of years, we can then look at what these changes mean for missions.”
Karen has five children and three grandchildren, with another grandchild on the way.