New pastoral residents begin Wilshire tenure
Wilshire’s two new pastoral residents, Jenna Sullivan and Ashley Robinson, have settled into their homes on Resident Row and will officially begin their two-year terms on Monday, August 3. They join second-year residents Leanna Coyle-Carr and Leigh Curl to form Wilshire’s first all-female resident cohort.
You can begin getting to know Jenna and Ashley through a series of upcoming video interviews. George Mason will interview both new residents during worship on Sunday, August 9. A video released on Wednesday, August 19, will feature Leigh interviewing Ashley, and an August 26 video will feature Leanna’s conversation with Jenna.
Jenna joins Wilshire from Magnolia Road Baptist Church in Jonesboro, Arkansas, where she served as associate pastor. She completed the master of divinity degree at Wake Forest University School of Divinity in 2018 and served internships at churches in North Carolina and Tennessee.
Ashley was most recently volunteer and development director for Lost-n-Found Youth, an Atlanta nonprofit serving homeless LGBTQ youth. She previously worked for Baptist Women in Ministry and has served churches in Georgia. Ashley completed the master of divinity degree from Central Baptist Theological Seminary in May. She is sister-in-law to Jake Hall, one of Wilshire’s early pastoral residents.
Each Wilshire pastoral resident is supported by a Sunday School class that offers encouragement and hospitality throughout the resident’s two-year term. Labyrinth Class will serve as Jenna’s support class, and Perennial Class will support Ashley.
in their own words
“I have been so warmly welcomed with kind messages on Facebook, warm cookies delivered to my door, FaceTime calls from fellow residents, and the warm spirit of the staff. I even successfully navigated heavy Dallas freeway traffic to return a U-Haul truck which was no small feat for this Arkansas gal. Such a big life change in the midst of a pandemic is certainly difficult but I feel God’s presence helping me to settle in, take some deep breaths, and create a new home. I truly look forward to weaving my unique thread into the larger tapestry of Wilshire Baptist Church over these next two years.” —Jenna Sullivan
“Uprooting myself in the middle of a pandemic was not on my list of things I imagined I would be doing this year. In fact, as I drove away from Atlanta a few weeks ago, I wondered, ‘what have I gotten myself into?’ From the first moment I arrived, though, Wilshire showed up with loving welcome and radical hospitality to make Dallas feel more like home … For many years in Atlanta, I was a constituent of Congressman John Lewis. Since his recent passing, I have been reflecting on his work in the Civil Rights movement and social justice. One of his quotes keeps running through my mind, ‘Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble.’ Wilshire, I can’t wait to see what kind of good trouble we get into together.” — Ashley Robinson