Today we continue our “meet the team” series. If you missed our vision for these posts please check out week one. This week we’re talking with Chris and Kristen Cathell from Wake Forest, NC.
Tell us guys – what do people need to know about the Cathell’s?
Kristen: “I am currently a Canvas Customer Art Consultant in Raleigh. I was born in Syracuse, NY. I spent much of my childhood in Virginia and moved to Poland with my family when I was 16. I moved to Wake Forest, North Carolina for school, met my husband Chris and I am still here. In my free time I am an avid user of Pinterest and I have a passion/unhealthy addiction for coffee and baking.”
Chris: “Currently I work at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary as the Copy Center Manager. I was born in Alabama but I’ve lived most of my life in High Point, NC. In my spare time, I love to watch and attend sporting events, especially college football and baseball games (in particular the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Atlanta Braves). I also love to read books, blogs, Wikipedia and discover new music. With my useless knowledge, I make a great teammate when it comes to trivia games.”
Could you share with us how it is that you came to accept Jesus as your savior and how the gospel has impacted your life?
Kristen: “My Parents became believers when I was five, so I grew up with the Bible stories and saw how Christ changed my parents. I thought I was saved because I knew all the stories and I won AWANA memory verse challenges a lot. It was not until one Sunday when I was twelve years old that I realized everything I knew was simply head knowledge. There was no fruit or evidence of the real gospel in me. That Sunday, I truly gave my life to Christ.”
“Between ages twelve and fifteen I remember having such a desire to grow in the gospel. At fifteen I went through a traumatizing event. I was held hostage and was told by many that I should have been killed. In the time after this event, I became complacent in my faith. Instead of gratitude for life, I became bitter over the hurt and fear I constantly had after this event. I missed the zeal I had for the gospel. After much prayer and putting aside my selfishness, I realized that I had so much to be thankful for; I have the gospel. Christ died for me and I need to share this grace and mercy with others despite circumstances and situations.”
Chris: “I grew up in Christian household and became a Christian at the age of seven. I remember asking my parents, ‘How do I become a Christian?’ and was led in the ‘sinner’s prayer’ beside my bed. Growing up, I went through the motions of being a Christian. I attended every VBS, youth camp/trip, mission trip, choir outing – basically, if the church doors were open, I was there. Growing up in the church was a blessing but it wasn’t easy.”
“It’s easy to grow up knowing how to be a Christian and forget why you are a Christian. There were times in my life where I was legalistic and hypocritical, when I said one thing and acted another. It wasn’t until later in high school and early in college, that I began to understand how to live under the grace that the gospel gives. Living under the gospel means there is nothing I can do to make God love me more and nothing I can do that will make Him love me less. God showed me compassion by sending his Son, Jesus Christ, to die on a cross to save me from my sins. I preach that to myself everyday.”
So why Greensboro – what led you to be a part of the Mercy Hill team?
Kristen: “Being a Missionary Kid, I have had a passion for home and foreign missions since I was a young teenager. When I married Chris, I knew he had a passion for reaching those near his hometown with the Gospel. We had talked about moving back to the area at some point but we were not sure if all the little details would eventually fall into place.”
“Then we heard about the Mercy Hill team and we were pumped! It was like ‘this is it.’ I am excited to be moving to Greensboro. I just accepted a job offer this week and I will be working in High Point at a fabric company. I always think moving to new a place is exciting. What can be more exciting than moving to a new city, with an awesome group of people, and a goal of reaching a city for the gospel?”
Chris: “Sometime last year, Kristen and I were planning on transitioning to a new phase in life. I wasn’t sure about moving back to the Triad, but when I heard that The Summit Church was planting a church in Greensboro, I thought, ‘I have to be a part of that!’ Seeing first-hand how God is using The Summit Church in the RDU area makes me excited to see how He is going to use Mercy Hill Church in Greensboro.”
“I start my new job in the Greensboro area on February 6, working as a landscape technician for a retirement community. If you want to see God move in ways you’ve never imagined, then join a church plant. If you want to see God move in Greensboro, then join us at Mercy Hill.”
And what excited you about the move to Greensboro?
Kristen: “Other than living next to a Whole Foods and Carvel ice cream shop… I am excited about investing in a new city that I can call home. The relationships that will be built, adventures and trials are all things that I am ready to get started with.”
Chris: “I am excited to be moving to a city that sells Blue Bell Ice Cream in local supermarkets!! You can’t get that in the RDU!! But seriously, I am excited to see how God is going to use Mercy Hill to make His name great.”