Meet Sharron Boddy '17
Winding Through Life and Hearing God's Call
We are pressured in every way [hedged in], but not crushed; perplexed [unsure of finding a way out], but not driven to despair. II Cor. 4:8-9 (AMP)
It is no surprise that Sharron A. Boddy’s favorite scripture passage is II Cor. 4:8-18. If this passage reflects the overarching theme of her life, then God’s own faithfulness is the refrain. “God has been good to me,” says this Philadelphia native, who recently added an M.Div. degree and Certificate in Urban Ministry to her impressive list of educational accomplishments: an associate of arts in education, two bachelor of arts degrees in social work and sociology from the University of Pittsburgh, and a professional license of cosmetology, which authorizes her to practice and to instruct in the field. In addition, she has her commercial driver’s license and has been an entrepreneur since 2009, serving as the owner and operator of the salon Kinky Hair Blues. And if that’s not enough, Sharron is an AmeriCorps member, a certified sexual abuse counselor, founder of Mothers of Incarcerated Sons (MOIS), and a Minister in Training.
The initial seeds of Sharron’s faith were planted early and exhaustively by remarkable women in her life, who were both influence and inspiration for her budding call to ministry. “We lived in church,” says Sharron, who is the oldest of five, tight-knit sisters. From Sunday school to youth group, and from children’s choir to revivals, she and her sisters were fixtures at the New Covenant Church in Philadelphia, where her maternal grandmother was a minister, and her mother was a ministry trailblazer. These women encouraged Sharron to develop a personal and intimate relationship with God that ultimately led to discernment about her divine purpose. “I knew I had a calling on my life from very early on,” Sharron says. In spite of that, the biographies of Jonah, who ran from his call, and Job, whose catastrophic tribulations threatened to destroy him, resonate on a very deep level with Sharron.
On Jan. 29, 2013, Sharron celebrated both an actual and spiritual birthday when she was nudged awake by the Holy Spirit and began researching seminary programs. That spring, she applied to PTS and entered the M.Div. program. “I look forward to nurturing the lifelong relationships that I have formed here,” she says.
When Sharron isn’t spending time with her three children, Zahir (27), Naijah (16), and N'ziyableu (10), she is managing her ordination process with the PC(USA), juggling loyal clients of Kinky Hair Blues, or planning and executing community service projects with the alumnae chapter of her sorority Zeta Phi Beta Sorority. While Sharron sees herself in pastoral ministry with a focus on social justice in the future, she remains open to God’s dynamic movement in her life, and to considering challenging, new ways to live into her call to serve God’s people: like becoming a licensed doula.