I grew up in Iowa and was called by God to ministry at the age of 10. This call was recognized and affirmed by a local pastor, and on July 2, 1972, I had the opportunity to preach my first-ever sermon at this pastor’s church. Later, I was ordained under his leadership when he became district superintendent. It has been a wonderful journey ever since!
I could say much about my experience leading up to ordination, but I really want to encourage others who may feel called to be pastors. When God calls you, He equips you with the necessary requirements in addition to the grace and the wherewithal to do what He calls you to do even if you face opposition and ridicule. Paul writes to young Timothy: “In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus . . . I give you this charge: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men won’t put up with sound doctrine . . . But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist . . . To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen” (2 Timothy 4:1-18).
God gave me the opportunity to begin ministry through evangelism, traveling with a wonderful group of young people from MidAmerica Nazarene College (now University) across the United States and Canada. Since then, I have had the privilege to serve in various roles across four districts. I am now serving as senior pastor at the wonderful Carrollton, Missouri, Church of the Nazarene.
My journey in ministry has stretched 40 years and has included countless mountain tops, valleys, wildernesses, and everything in between.
John 15:16 is a reminder to me: “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last.” I trust and know that God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).
I owe many thanks to my wonderful family and extended family for believing in me and for their continued support and love. Many others have played a part in my journey, and I owe them all a debt of gratitude for their leadership, influence, and support throughout my ministry. I know God has a plan, and He isn’t done with me yet. To God be the Glory for all He has done!
Candice Wiley is senior pastor of Carrollton Church of the Nazarene. She is a graduate of MidAmerica Nazarene College (now University) and was born and raised in Iowa.
Please note: This article was originally published in 2021. All facts, figures, and titles were accurate to the best of our knowledge at that time but may have since changed.