Kelly Belcher grew up in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and was dedicated, baptized, married and ordained at Knollwood Baptist Church, graduated from Meredith College and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and has served as a church minister and as hospital and hospice chaplain.
She lives in Asheville, North Carolina, with husband Philip, parents of two grown children and two hound dogs, is a member of First Baptist Church of Asheville, and is currently serving on Good Faith Media’s strategic advisory board.
1. What story, verse or passage from your faith tradition’s sacred texts has significantly influenced / shaped your life?
It was what I was assigned to exegete with the Greek in New Testament class in seminary. I think “let this mind be in you which was in Jesus” is the whole shebang.
Following Jesus is the most real way we are constantly redeemed. I don’t think we have to wait for death. I think it happens every time we realize it. I think Jesus comes to us over and over, again and again.
2. Who are three people (other than your family) who have shaped your life and worldview? And why?
Roger and Mary Ruth Crook, my religion professor at Meredith College and his wife who was an English teacher and a thrilling person, called by him and known to his students as “Honey.” Dr. Crook’s senior seminar on calling helped me realize I needed to go to seminary. They chaperoned my college semester abroad to Britain, and I grew to love them both; they and that trip opened my mind and saved me from naïveté, selfishness and provincialism. Dr. Crook helped ordain me. He is about 96, drinking a pot of coffee a day and working on his next book. They were the model of married people for me, as my parents divorced.
Paula Clayton-Dempsey was our Meredith intern college minister during my first years, while she was in seminary. She was the first woman I had ever known personally to pastor a Baptist church, which I had hoped to do. We double-dated a little with seminary students – we can tell you some stories! She has been my friend and my model of a pastoral woman all my life.
3. List three of your “desert island” books, movies or TV shows.
Books by Daphne du Maurier, old movies and all the Alfred Hitchcock movies, and “Modern Family.”
4. What is one of the most critical issues people are facing today?
Our stubborn and selfish determination to live as if money is more valuable than people.
5. What are a few of your hobbies?
Jazz, piano, singing, opera, reading, hiking, ACC basketball, collecting cartoons, old movies, walking and playing with hound dogs and mountain bear-watching – and a little gardening, but nobody who can see my house would believe that last thing.
6. If you could freeze your life into an already-lived 10 seconds, what would they be?
Waking up the first morning after moving into a new house, all the boxes safely in and doors locked, with sweet kids ages 3 and 7, and feeling we had the world on a string. We did.
7. Our tagline at Good Faith Media is, “There’s more to tell.” What’s your “more to tell”?
I get to see every day the stunning love between people as they say goodbye to each other during sacred moments of hospice care. They actually pay me to do this.
I declare, it must be a little glimpse of what God can see; most people don’t have any idea how exquisitely beautiful they are when they love each other.
I guess my “more” is that, even at the end of life, there is more. There is so very much, deep and wide, joyful and abundant, hopeful and blessed.
Reflection and resources at the intersection of faith and culture through an inclusive Christian lens.