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From Seminarian to Church Planter

Jaymes Lackey MDiv ’14 | Pastor Creating Christian Community in His Hometown

Jaymes Lackey


A freckled trombone player caught the eye of Jaymes Lackey, who earned his master of divinity degree in 2014, during his first year of high school marching band in California’s North Valley. But her father said that if they wanted to date, Lackey had to go to church. He started to attend their Free Methodist church — and their backyard barbecues and birthday parties.

“The church felt like a family that I wanted to be a part of,” Lackey says. “That’s how I came to faith.”

Lackey later sought out that same kind of community at Seattle Pacific Seminary. He found rigorous academics, but also a program that focuses on Christian community, spiritual formation, and service to the poor and the local church. “The professors didn’t let us stay in the ivory tower of academia,” he explains.

Lackey was involved in small groups with other Seminary students, had professors and a local pastor as mentors, brought his wife (the trombone player) and two young children to a regular dinner with faculty and students, and interned at First Free Methodist Church, adjacent to the SPU campus.

“Seattle Pacific strengthened my love for the local church as something that brings hope and healing to communities.”

Now Lackey is planting a Free Methodist church in his hometown, Thermalito, California which has a high instance of poverty, substance use, and lack of education. “There’s a lot of brokenness here,” he says. “We hope to get to know the people around us, go on a journey with them, and be a church presence in their lives.”

Lackey believes that, once again, God will use community as a way to draw people to the love of Christ.