International Ministries (IM) is pleased to announce the endorsement of Sarah McCloy to prepare for service as a global servant in Japan. Sarah hails from the great state of West Virginia. From an early age, she sensed God’s call upon her life. She grew up in a home where her parents were serving the Lord, and she too had a desire to serve. Sarah writes, “Since I was young, God has placed a call on my life to global service. I feel called to this ministry to accompany, encourage, and connect.” Her openness to this possibility led her to immerse herself in various life experiences that finally brought her to the stage of applying to International Ministries to serve as a global servant.
Sarah attended Houghton College in Houghton, New York, where she graduated in 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in international development and theology, and minoring in education and African missions. Her preparation for ministry continued with a Master of Divinity from Gardner-Webb School of Divinity in Boiling Springs, North Carolina, in 2019.
Sarah is currently serving as interim pastor at the Goose Creek Baptist Church in Petroleum, West Virginia; as a substitute music teacher to K-5 students at Wirt County Schools in Elizabeth, West Virginia; and as a professor teaching mission, pastoral care, and discipleship at the Bobby Wood School of Christian Studies. Sarah is a member of Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Mineral Wells, West Virginia.
In addition to academic preparations for ministry, Sarah’s time in 2014 at Camp Global, West Virginia, affirmed her call to mission. Through IM’s 2016 “Hear the Call” retreat, interactions with IM global servants, and an internship with IM’s Short-Term Mission office, Sarah earnestly sought to discern whether God was calling her to international mission. In 2018, Sarah attended “Hear the Call” again, and two years later began the application process with IM.
“Sarah’s journey up to this stage saw her ask many questions and explore various opportunities. After recognizing her gifts and passion and seeing a door being opened to the country of Japan, she took that step and entered it with such conviction and confidence,” says IM Director of Mission Mobilization Rev. Dr. Rodney Ragwan. “Sarah will no doubt see God do amazing things in and through her life, the partner in Japan, as well as all those she will be serving.”
Sarah’s love for God’s mission in Japan is very evident. She writes, “When it comes to Japan specifically, since a mission trip to Japan in 2018, the country and people have had a special place in my heart. This opportunity in Japan is a wonderful chance to combine my enthusiasm for both teaching and pastoral care. I also am passionate about ministering to college-age young adults and am excited to participate in such a ministry once again.”
“It has been a blessing to see how God has led Sarah on this journey toward service as an IM global servant and then specifically to Japan,” says Area Director for Southeast Asia and Japan Rev. Leslie Turley. “Although there were several opportunities for service which would have been a fit for Sarah’s gifts and talents, Sarah was thoughtful in this discernment process as she waited for God’s specific call. I look forward to seeing how God will use her in ministry alongside partner churches and schools in Japan.”
In welcoming Sarah McCloy to the IM family, IM CEO/Executive Director Rev. Sharon Koh writes, “Sarah is a joy to be around. She has an unwavering sense of calling and her love for Japan and its people is unmistakable. I have been inspired by her obedient and courageous pursuit of God’s calling on her life. We have been so delighted to welcome her officially into the IM family.”
In affirming Sarah’s endorsement, Executive Minister of the West Virginia Baptist Convention Rev. Dr. Mike Sisson writes, “West Virginia has a long and dedicated history of supporting and sending out global servants through International Ministries, so we are truly delighted that IM has recognized Sarah’s calling and chosen to endorse her as a global servant to Japan. Sarah is a remarkable, very gifted young woman who demonstrates a great passion for international missions, which is evidenced by her consistent involvement in short-term mission trips to several countries and volunteering with IM as a special assistant. Since her graduation from Gardner-Webb seminary, it has been inspiring to watch Sarah prepare herself for this next chapter of ministry by serving as a full-time hospital chaplain, serving as an interim pastor of a local church, leading workshops, teaching pastoral and mission courses in our region’s Bobby Wood School of Christian Studies, and teaching in the public school system. It will be exciting to see how the Lord will continue to work through her.”
IM and Sarah McCloy invite interested individuals, families, and churches to partner with her in ministry in Japan! More information about Sarah McCloy is available on her profile page on the IM website. To send words of encouragement or support, contact Sarah at firstname.lastname@example.org.