I am a life-long Kentucky woman, who bleeds blue for Wildcat basketball, men’s and women’s. Always tall, I had dreams of becoming a UK Lady Kat, as they were known back in the day, but life took a different path. I played sports growing up, but I also had a certain “look.”
While in eighth grade at the School for Creative and Performing Arts, one of my classmates suggested I attend a model search. With nothing better to do, I went and . . .
I concentrated on my modeling career during spring and summer breaks. In 1993, I placed third in Elite’s Look of the Year competition.
I waived the winnings in order to stay in high school, but I continued to model during my free time. After graduating third in my high school class, I decided to take “a year” off to focus on my career instead of going straight to college.
One year turned into more than three, and throughout my career, I worked in Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles, Japan, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, Morocco, and Slovenia. I experienced the highs and lows of the fashion industry: seeing the world yet being treated as an object and told that my body was less than perfect. I struggled with body image issues, eating disorders, and depression.
After retiring from professional international modeling in 1999, I returned to Lexington, Kentucky to get my college degree. I also returned as a member of Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), my home church. Born and raised in the church, I grew up in youth group and serving in various leadership roles.
When I left home at age eighteen, I also left the comfort and community of church. I did not realize how much I missed it until I was asked to be a youth group sponsor. At that time in my life, I didn’t care what I did for a living as long as I had Sundays off for church and youth group and weeks off in the summer to counsel youth group and go on a mission trip.
While expressing this view, I was “called” into the ministry by the Youth Minister at Central. I then enrolled at the Lexington Theological Seminary after graduating Magna cum Laude from the University of Kentucky with a BA in Communication. I was ordained in 2010 and currently the Pastor of Connections and Outreach at Geist Christian Church in Fishers, IN.
Married to Rev. Kyle Brown since 2009 and mother of Miriam, born August, 2011, it is important that I am physically and spiritually healthy, have a positive self image, and help others do the same. As one who was paid for the way I looked, who also struggled with body image issues, I feel called to share my story and the truth of media and “ideal beauty.” As a person of faith, I feel compelled to proclaim that we are all created in the image of God, and all God is created is “very good.”
I have been blessed to share my story with many youth, women's, and civic groups. I have keynoted camps and retreats from California to North Carolina, preached in churches (cross-denominational) across the country, from Illinois to Mississippi, and I would be privileged to share my unique experiences with you, as a model turned minister, who knows marriage, motherhood, ministry, and mental illness.