A gift of love and faith: Julie Easley knew at an early age she would be an ‘encourager’ for ministry
by Sally Litchfield
MDJ Feature editor
sallylit@bellsouth.net
March 24, 2013 12:00 AM | 4133 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Julie Easley and her husband Dr. Ernest Easley, senior pastor at Roswell Street Baptist Church in Marietta, relax at their Powder Springs home. <br>Staff/Laura Moon
Julie Easley and her husband Dr. Ernest Easley, senior pastor at Roswell Street Baptist Church in Marietta, relax at their Powder Springs home.
Staff/Laura Moon
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Following high school, Easley met her husband, a Baylor University student from Texas, who served as summer intern to her church in Minnesota.
Following high school, Easley met her husband, a Baylor University student from Texas, who served as summer intern to her church in Minnesota.
slideshow
Julie Easley jokingly feeds a roasted marshmallow to her husband Dr. Ernest Easley.
Julie Easley jokingly feeds a roasted marshmallow to her husband Dr. Ernest Easley.
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“Even at middle school age I thought that these guys (ministers) could do so much better for the kingdom if their wives were supportive,” said Julie Easley, whose father was a “church planter” in charge of introducing Southern Baptist to northern communities.

“I was burdened at a very early age that I could be a good helpmate to somebody who was bound to the ministry or being a pastor. I didn’t have anybody in mind but I knew I wanted to marry someone the same denomination I was,” said the mother of two grown sons, a daughter and six grandchildren. Both sons are ministers.

Easley consulted with God about her conviction. “I began praying at a young age that God would send me a preacher husband. I knew that God had a plan for my life in ministry. I didn’t know exactly what that looked like. I just thought I could do it real well,” she said.

Easley, an “encourager,” developed her talents such as singing and playing the piano that would be useful in the ministry.

“I did all those things I thought a good preacher’s wife would do and I learned to do those things well,” she said.

Following high school, Easley met her husband, a Baylor University student from Texas who served as summer intern to her church in Minnesota.

“After Ernest was there that eight weeks, I went home with him. I thought God has sent me this preacher husband from Texas. We fell in love that summer,” she said.

“My attitude was if things don’t work out with this guy, I can still move to Texas and there is whole lot more opportunity to meet a Christian (Southern Baptist) in Texas than Minnesota,” Easley said.

Nine months later, the Easleys married.

“At the time I married (Ernest), he did not feel like God was calling him to be a pastor. He felt like God was calling him to be a missionary,” she said.

“I think I was called before (Ernest). I really believe that. But I believe that after you’re married, if God calls your husband he’s calling you. You better get on board or it’s going to be a pretty miserable life. Ministry is not something your husband can do by himself. It’s very much a team effort,” she said.

Six weeks after their wedding, Ernest was called as student pastor to a church in Dallas, Texas, where he served for five years.

“During those five years, (Ernest) felt the call to pastor a church. At 26 years old, he was called to his first church,” she said. They have served five churches since that initial call.

“God has blessed. Every time we moved our churches have gotten bigger and our responsibilities have gotten greater. Apparently, he was doing a good job. We’ve had an awesome ministry,” she said.

Easley said her role is one of support.

“My role as a preacher’s wife is to love my husband, period. I’m not on the payroll. Nobody is paying me but I feel like it’s my number one responsibility and I’m passionate about my job as meeting my husband’s needs at home,” the homemaker said.

Their home is a sanctuary where Ernest studies and prepares sermons.

“When (Ernest) comes home I want this to be a place of refuge for him — he can come home and relax and be himself,” she said.

Through God, Easley fulfills her role well.

“My spiritual gift is faith. Things come very easily to me because I have a strong faith and I trust God. I don’t get rattled by much of anything. Because I have strong faith I feel like even with bad things God has allowed it to be there for a reason, and we need to learn from it and grow from it,” Easley said.

Roswell Street Baptist Church is located at 774 Roswell St., Marietta. For more information about the church, visit www.roswellstreet.com.
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