Jennifer Kelly – First Church Lay Leader
What is the lay leader’s role, in a nutshell?
The lay leader represents the members of the church and is a bridge between the congregation and the pastor. As the lay leader, I am a member of the Family Staff, Facility & Finance, and the Nominations and Leadership Development Teams. I also lead the Servant Leader team (church council).
How long have you lived in the area?
I grew up in the Daytona Beach area, going to school at Ortona Elementary, Seabreeze Junior High (now the Ocean Center parking lot), and Seabreeze High School. I went away to school at the University of Florida in the 80’s. My husband and I have raised our family in South Daytona and remain there now.
How long have you been a member of First Church Port Orange?
I grew up in and out of different churches and denominations (I related to the video we watched during April’s sermon series… my church history was “a little bit of everything and a whole lot of nothing!”) We found First Church and became members in 2008 – we immediately felt at home here and sensed the authenticity of this church family.
What is your career, or what are you retired from?
I recently retired from a career in Volusia County Schools, starting as a classroom teacher in 1990 and working for many years as a district special education administrator, supporting programs Pre-K-12 for students with significant disabilities. I have now begun a second career as a birth doula and owner of Meant to Be Birth Services.
How do you like to spend your time when not volunteering in your lay leadership role?
I love experimenting with and learning different art forms, spending time with friends and family, marveling at how much fun it is to spend time with my two now-grown sons, and camping.
What is one interesting thing people might not know about you?
I spent two separate years in college studying abroad. The first year was at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, where I had the opportunity to travel Europe and the then-Soviet Union. My second year was as a Rotary Graduate Scholar at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, where I represented the USA and Florida and came to love public speaking at Rotary events throughout Australia.