Called, Equipped, and Oh, the Places She’ll Go: A Female Pastor’s Perspective

 In All Church of God, CHOG, Great Lakes

By Carl Stagner

Like the title of a Warner Press book by Randal Huber, she was called and equipped, yet had no place to go. After college graduation, and again after seminary, she couldn’t find a position in ministry. Having grown up in the Church of God movement, historically affirming the divine call on both men and women, she couldn’t understand why it seemed she had no place among her extended family of believers which she loved dearly. Though she couldn’t see it at the time, the hand of God was moving all the right pieces into all the right places—Stephanie Collins, now Stephanie Niemoeller, resolved to trust, but it wasn’t easy. Looking back at what the Lord brought her through and where she is today, Pastor Stephanie Niemoeller offers reflections, perspective, and healthy dose of hope for those who find themselves where she’s been.

Everyone needs someone who says, “You can do it” and follows such welcome words with faithful support. Men and women in ministry have accepted the call, pursued the position, endured for the long haul, and discovered the ability to thrive because of voices in their lives that ring true and transformative. It’s no different for Stephanie Niemoeller.

“My mother, Joyce Collins, is the most powerful voice in my life,” she explains. “While she doesn’t hold the title pastor, she has informed my call and my ministry more than any other woman (and she is a pastor to many). She has supported my dad as a pastor for over forty years, and she supports me in the same way. Her constant support, encouragement, and speaking what she sees in me has made all the difference in my life and call. Especially in the years of wondering if I would ever see a fulfillment of the call, my mom never wavered in her support and prayer for me.”

Steve and Stephanie Niemoeller

Pastor Stephanie’s exceedingly thankful for her family; men and women related to her have relayed nuggets of wisdom and exemplified Christlikeness with indelible results. Other women in her family who played such an important role, in particular, include her maternal grandmother Alma Hutchinson, as well as her paternal grandmother Mary Belle Collins. From gentle reminders like, “You can’t outgive God” demonstrated in sacrificial service to others, to a ministry of joyful presence and commitment to the local church, these ladies became indispensable giants along her path. But the influential feminine voice wasn’t limited to her relatives.

“Pam Roberts, my youth pastor growing up,” Stephanie recollects, “is another prophetic and profound voice in my life.” Pam and her husband were among the first to recognize the ministry leader Stephanie could be and say it out loud. “As a teenager,” Stephanie continues, “those words held weight. When Pam told me what she saw in me—that I had the ability to bring different types of people all in the same room together and help them feel seen—she was prophetically calling me to the mantle of shepherd. I didn’t know it then, but those words have stayed with me all my life and continued to bear fruit today.”

Meagan Flores who, along with her husband Leo will combine talents with other artists to lead worship at Convention 2023 in Tampa, is also a close friend whose influence has shaped Pastor Stephanie’s ministry. “Strong female,” “prophetic,” and “co-laborer” are words Stephanie has used to describe Flores. But Stephanie’s anecdote about Meagan is especially compelling. “Meagan has the ability to sharpen me with kindness, calling me to higher ground in Jesus,” Stephanie explains. “I remember struggling in one of my roles of ministry with feeling the need for more affirmation from those around me. Meagan generously and wisely called me to higher ground. ‘Go to Jesus and ask him to affirm you,’ she said. That changed everything for me! For three to four years now, I have not felt the need for man’s affirmation. I get all I need from Jesus.”

Pastor Stephanie celebrates a believer’s baptism.

CHOGnews chronicled parts of Stephanie’s multi-year journey toward the fulfillment of her call. Now that she’s entrenched deeply in ministry as lead pastor of The Gathering Muncie, she takes some time to reflect on her story. “When I think about Joshua Brandt, the lead pastor who gave me a chance, and where I am now, eight years later, I am filled with such gratitude. One thing I know with certainty is that God doesn’t waste a thing. He didn’t waste the years I wandered in the desert of uncertainty. He used it all to bring me to such a fulfilling place where I get to serve him and use the gifts he’s given me for his glory. I also now see more women entering into ministry and finding positions—even lead pastoring! It is such a wonderful thing to feel like we are on the cusp of some of the greatest days of our Movement, and to know that women are being given the opportunity to participate and lead the way.”

To the “sister feeling called,” Stephanie says: “Your gifts and calling are needed. No matter your age, no matter your qualifications. Don’t let those things become hurdles that keep you caged in uncertainty or fear. We need you in this era. We need your gentle strength and the mantle you carry. Come out of the shadows. We’re waiting here in the sun to cheer you on!”

To the “discouraged woman,” Stephanie says: “Don’t give up, dear sister. You are qualified, equipped, anointed, and chosen. God didn’t make a mistake when calling you and, no, you didn’t hear him wrong. Keep following him and allowing him to open doors that no man can shut. He will do it. He will be faithful. Hang on and hold on…God’s going to blow your mind.”

The Gathering Muncie is bearing fruit for the kingdom with Pastor Stephanie at the helm. Pray that lives continue to be changed across the east-central Indiana community and beyond through their vital ministry.

Learn more about the Church of God movement at

Feature (top) photo: Pastor Stephanie presides over a powerful moment of worship at The Gathering Muncie.

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