A newsmaker you should know: Irwin woman's leadership benefits speaking, teaching ministry
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Shelli Prindle always felt destined to become a teacher. These days, she's doing even more.
Mrs. Prindle of Irwin is the president and founder of the 5-year-old Hope & Passion Ministries, a speaking and teaching ministry in her native Westmoreland County that has caught fire over the past year.
"We exist for the purpose of showing people that they can live with genuine hope and live passionately -- but that can happen only according to the truth of Jesus Christ," says Mrs. Prindle, a former classroom teacher and principal, who also directs the youth and young-adult ministries at Norwin Alliance Church in North Huntingdon on a part-time basis.
Reared in a Christian home, "my dad built me my first pulpit [when I was] 11 or 12," Mrs. Prindle said. "I always felt a call to ministry. I was studying the Bible and reading theology books as long as I can remember."
An alumna of Penn-Trafford High School and Seton Hill University, Mrs. Prindle began teaching in 1997 at the now-defunct Pittsburgh East Christian School until 2005.
While at Pittsburgh East, "I wrote and shared morning devotions with the other teachers," she said. Over time, "people suggested that I started training other teachers."
Eventually she earned a master's degree in educational leadership online from Crown College, which is affiliated with the small denomination her church is part of, Christian & Missionary Alliance. In 2005, Mrs. Prindle joined the faculty of Christian Fellowship Academy and High School in Penn Township, serving as principal her last three years. But she left that position last year to devote more time to Hope & Passion Ministries.
"After having been in Christian schools for 15 years, I love being in the direct ministry now," Mrs. Prindle says.
Her big break came last June, "when I was the keynote speaker for the Western Pennsylvania District's [of the Alliance] women's retreat in Johnstown," which she'll do again this year. She said she has spoken at a dozen churches since.
In addition to the speaking ministry, she has authored two books, "Real Life. Real God. Real Hope!" which came out last year; and the recent "Living in Awe!" both based on devotionals she's compiled over the years and placed on the ministry's website.
She's looking forward to September, when she will speak to a Ladies' Encounter meeting in the Altoona area, with a potential outreach of 200 churches.
At age 13, Mrs. Prindle was diagnosed with type-1 diabetes, which offers its own set of challenges.
"It's intense therapy -- 10 blood tests a day, four to six insulin shots," she admitted. "I've defied the odds in not having any complications."
As far as speaking, "One battle that I face is the obvious adrenaline rush that causes my blood sugar to rise," she said.
"It's a sacrifice I make to do what God has called me to do."
For more information about Hope & Passion Ministries, visit www.hopeandpassion.org or call 412-779-1357.
First Published June 14, 2012 5:03 am