As a nine year old, Rev. Jessica LaGrone, wrote sermons in her head. Today, she serves as the first female Dean of Chapel at Asbury Theological Seminary and is a widely published author with Abingdon Women.
“My call phrase was, ‘I could do better than that,’ Jessica said with a smile. “Even as a child, I knew that if you preached and could make the Bible boring that something was wrong. I thought, ‘Let me at it!’”
God called Jessica to be a healer, but not in the way she first thought. She pursued a pre-med degree in undergrad, until her public speaking professor pointed out that every speech she gave was actually a sermon. Now, instead of mending physical wounds, she spends her life directing folks to Jesus, the healer of souls.
“My calling is to preach and write to make the stories of Scripture come alive and show how they overlap with our lives in incredible ways,” she said.
Jessica enrolled at Asbury Seminary and while there, God confirmed her call to preach during a chapel message using Psalm 84. The sermon that day was about the foolishness of the Lord and saying yes to things that are only wise in His eyes. As the congregation sang, “Better is One Day,” Jessica felt God telling her to hold open the doors of Estes Chapel.
New at discerning the voice of God, she argued, but finally obeyed. As she held open the doors, watching the cars and people pass by, she felt the Lord say, “This is your call. You’re a doorkeeper.”
“I came to Asbury Seminary as a student feeling inadequate and ill-equipped,” she said. “When I graduated, I felt inadequate, but equipped. I tell my chapel interns that you feel that way because you are. Our job is to bring people to Jesus. I can’t fix, change or heal, but I know who can.”