I Am Wilshire: Judy Yarbrough

by | Sep 1, 2023 | I Am Wilshire

Hometown: Amarillo;
Present City: Dallas;
Education: BA in Sociology, Oklahoma Baptist University; Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry from Brite Divinity School (TCU);
Occupation: Minister

Tell us about your family.
I am married to Charles, and we have four children. Jennifer, her husband and four children are in Kigali, Rwanda, Africa. Elizabeth, her husband and son live in Wylie. David, his wife and two children live in Oklahoma City. Collin and his partner, Lauren Anne Cove, live in Dallas and attend Wilshire.

How about your work or volunteer life?
My life has been an intricate web of work and volunteer opportunities. I felt my first call to ministry during a youth camp in Turner Falls, Oklahoma. I assumed the call was to missions because that was the only option for women in the 1970s. As I have moved through life, volunteer opportunities always lead me in the way of ministry. In the mid-1990s, I felt the call to the ministry of pastoring and preaching. I enrolled at Brite Divinity School and graduated with my Master of Divinity in 2008. Three years later I earned my Doctorate of Ministry. And here I am, in the midst of starting a program to train refugee women in cooking and baking skills and opening a deli in which they will learn the skills to navigate the “real” world. So, ministry or volunteer? I am right where God wants me to be! Oh, yes, Full Circle Bakery is what started this whole thing. That’s another story!

What brought you to Wilshire and when?
We joined in 1975 when we came to Dallas for Charles to attend law school at SMU. After a number of disappointing church visits, we decided to try Wilshire. On that first Sunday, standing in the balcony singing the invitation hymn, we agreed it felt like home. After a five-year trip around Texas to Amarillo and then Houston, we returned “home.” We rejoined the same day George and Kim Mason and their children joined Wilshire for the beginnings of their ministry.

What are your favorite places to travel?
Colorado is by far our favorite vacation place. This summer, however, we had the privilege of taking all our children and grandchildren to Maui to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. That has now become one of our favorites for sure! Our hearts are broken from the fires in Maui, and we will pray for the families who lost loved ones in the devastation.

Where are you engaged at Wilshire?
I attend Cord of Three Class, sing in Sanctuary choir and serve as a deacon.

What adjectives best describe you?
Advocate, helper, a dreamer of possibilities, friendly.

*If you are interested in being featured in an upcoming I Am Wilshire feature, contact Carolyn Murray (cmurray@wilshirebc.org)