Pastor of the Week
A 27-year mentorship led to senior pastor
Gigi Tinsley | 5/22/2014, 9 a.m.
LaVanya C. Kelly is the senior pastor of the Outreach of Excitement Church at 1085 NW 62nd St. Their motto is: “A church in the heart of the city with the city in its heart.” Her shepherd and mentor was the late Reverend Dr. Mother Ruth E. Creps-Crockett, affectionately known as “Mother Ruth.”
In 1987, LaVanya’s sister Ernestine, heard Mother Ruth on WMBM Radio Station. “The love of God reached out through those radio waves and Ernestine was compelled to go to one of mother’s services,” Kelly said. “The power of God moved upon her in such a wonderful way that she couldn’t keep it to herself.” Ernestine invited LaVanya.” At that time, LaVanya was 15 years old when the two of them attended the service held at the American Legion Hall. From that date until Creps-Crockett died, LaVanya was known as her “daughter.”
This young woman has a profound love for God and zeal to do His will. In 1991 when she was 19 years old, “God called her to the ministry,” she said.
“Mother Ruth,” in an interview with this reporter eight years ago stated that she had “birthed many sons and daughters into the ministry but LaVanya remained under her wing.”
“I count it double honor that God allowed me to be mentored by such greatness,” Kelly said, referring to her being selected for the ministry and her relationship with Creps-Crockett. “We had hundreds of late night shut-ins, 12 and 6 p.m. Prayer Services, periods of Fasting, Bible Study, Evangelistic Services, laying-on-of-hands and prophetic utterances.
All of those spiritual activities caused my roots to grow deeper in God.”
Kelly serves God faithfully
Kelly “has a heart of a servant and has served God and the ministry faithfully for 27 years,” echoed numerous members of the Outreach of Excitement Ministry.
During those years, Kelly has served as a prayer warrior, evangelist, missionary, youth leader, praise dancer, secretary, treasurer, Sunday School teacher, counselor, confidante, Saints ‘N The Hood Street Team member, usher, nurse, armor bearer, janitor and in any other capacity needed and her hands found to do.
In January 2013, Kelly was elevated to executive pastor. According to members of Outreach of Excitement, “Mother Ruth was an amazing mentor. She knew the day would come when God would take her out of this world, so, she trained and prepared LaVanya for such a time as this.” Many added, “Just as Moses was to Joshua, so was Mother to LaVanya.”
Kelly has vowed “to carry on Mother’s Legacy.” Creps-Crockett and Kelly’s visionary mandate is “to stir up ministry gifts and to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the Body of Christ may be built up to a position of strength and maturity.”
The members believe without a doubt that “the Spirit of the Lord is upon Pastor Kelly because he’s anointed her to bring good news to the suffering and afflicted. That he sent her to comfort the broken hearted, to announce liberty to captives and to open the eyes of the blind.”