When Charlene Ruble retired from teaching elementary school in Oldham County, she knew God was not done with her yet. So, she went on to provide professional development training and consulting for Kentucky teachers.
But after four decades on “the mission field of the classroom,” Ruble felt like God was calling her to a new type of ministry.
Ruble recently joined Southeast Christian Church’s staff as First Impressions coordinator for the Chapel in the Woods Campus, which is set to launch this Sunday, Oct. 20, with services at 8:45 and 10:45 a.m.
“I felt like God was calling me to be bold and brave in applying for this position,” Ruble said. “I love to serve, and I always want to be faithful to do the next thing the Lord wants me to do. We are all ministers, wherever the Lord places us, and this role is just another opportunity to grow in my relationship with Him.”
As First Impressions coordinator, Ruble helps make the Chapel in the Woods Campus a place where everyone can connect with Jesus and one another as soon as they pull into the parking lot. She oversees a team of volunteers who will work to make the campus launch and each service after a welcoming experience.
“I’m already very grateful for the volunteers we have,” Ruble said. “They are all so willing to step in and help wherever they can, and they have already helped me and others so much.”
Ruble grew up in Shelby County and first believed in Jesus at age 16.
“Since then, I’ve just been doing whatever He calls me to next,” Ruble said.
Ruble has been a member of Southeast for eight years, where she has been involved in home groups, weekend groups, the Perspectives on the World Christian Movement class and Women’s Ministry events. It’s also where she has helped connect people to Jesus and one another by serving with the Shine Disabilities Ministry and at church-wide events.
Before coming to Southeast, Ruble was an active youth ministry leader at another local church for more than a decade. In her new role, Ruble will have had the opportunity to serve nearly every generation.
Ruble has two daughters and a son. One of her daughters, Megan Blanks, serves on Southeast’s staff as a Churchwide Initiatives Ministry associate.
“Megan encouraged me to apply, but what really encouraged me was seeing how much she loved working here,” Ruble said.
Ruble said she is most excited to give back to the senior adult community at Southeast. She recalls Senior Pastor Kyle Idleman’s first announcement that the Chapel in the Woods would become Southeast’s eighth campus, one that would be focused on reaching senior adults.
“When Kyle announced that the campus would minister to senior adults in our community, that really caught my attention,” Ruble said. “There are so many people who have been faithful members of this church, some for about as long as I’ve been alive. I’m excited to serve and show appreciation to our seniors. I want to let them know how valuable they are.”
Ruble is approaching her new role as a learner.
“I’m looking forward to being able to learn from our senior adults as I serve them,” she said. “I pray every person who walks in leaves having been changed, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m the most changed.”
Chapel in the Woods Campus Pastor Murphy Belding is grateful to have someone on his team like Ruble.
“Charlene is an excellent example of our vision for the senior adult community here at Southeast,” Belding said. “She is so eager to serve others, and she has a zeal for continuing to grow in her faith. I know she will be a great asset to our campus.”