Her desk is piled high with books on theology and counseling and dotted with dozens of Post-it Notes without room for another scribble. At the very bottom the clutter hides a calendar, booked many weeks in advance.

To say that Reverend Cindy Andrews-Looper is a busy woman would be an understatement, but its all in a day's work when you lead one of the fastest growing churches in the nation.

The Reverend, or Pastor Cindy as she is called by her congregation, is the pastor of Holy Trinity Community Church, located on the west side of Nashville on Charlotte Pike. It was was recently named  “the fastest growing church in the Southeastern Conference of the United Church of Christ," quite a distinction considering its humble beginnings.

Holy Trinity began with about fifteen people in 1996 as a Bible study group held in Cindy’s home. Since then, the church has grown to hold three services every Sunday with more than 300 in attendance. And now, they are looking to expand again. That’s the kind of church growth many pastors only dream about.

 “We are looking at a number of options to accommodate this growth," Pastor Cindy said. "We could stay here and build, or we could buy another property… We are trying to prayerfully figure out the best path for this church family.”

Much of the church's successful growth can be attributed to its pastor's impeccable leadership, but you wouldn't know that from speaking with Pastor Cindy alone. She isn't one to draw attention to herself.

“We are being faithful to what God has called us to do and it is changing people’s lives," she said. "We are giving people hope, encouragement, and strength in their faith. This is a huge need in our community since so many have been beaten up by their faith or by their church."

Pastor Cindy has been in the ministry for more than 10 years, a milestone that many pastors never reach in the demanding field.

“The stress and schedule of always being on call combined with the overwhelming amount of broken people can be difficult to manage," Pastor Cindy said. "But, thankfully, I am surrounded by a big family of church members who love and support me. Seeing people’s lives transformed and seeing people strengthened in their faith are two of the best things about being the pastor of this church.”

This article has been republished from Out & About Nashville, and was part of a series of first-person pieces written by the late Bobbi Williams.

When I was 14 years old, I surreptitiously made my way through the stacks in the local library until I came to the Psychology section. One after one, I took down the books whose titles I thought would provide an answer, went to the table of contents and, if there were any, I flipped to the pictures.

Keep reading Show less

James Mai

Many of us have made resolutions and pledged ourselves to transforming some aspect, or aspects, of our lives. For some, these resolutions will involve career, budget, home ownership, etc., but for a LOT of us, they will involve various health, exercise and fitness goals.

Often, these resolutions are vague, like “lose weight” or “exercise more”, and way too often they begin with a gym contract and end with Netflix and a bag of takeout. Getting specific can help in holding yourself accountable for these commitments, though. So we thought it might be interesting to talk with a local gay trainer, James Mai, about his fitness journey, his work as a trainer and how he keeps himself motivated, and get some of his suggestions for carrying through on this year’s fitness resolutions!

Keep reading Show less

Bisexuality


Keep reading Show less