Lesley-Ann Hix Tommey is a Cooperative Baptist Fellowship field personnel appointed as ministry facilitator for Rauschenbusch Metro Ministries in New York City.
Rauschenbusch Metro Ministries seeks to encourage the social, educational, spiritual and economic growth of the “Hell’s Kitchen” community, offering non-sectarian, multifaceted educational opportunities and direct services to community residents through partnerships among Metro Baptist Church, area residents, mission organizations and community service providers.
A North Carolina native, Lesley-Ann is a pastor’s kid, who spent her childhood exploring the hallways of her mother’s church, claiming that she was never going to discover any other path but following God’s call into vocational ministry. She brings a passion for storytelling, with a degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and her M. Div. from Mercer University’s McAfee School of Theology.
What excites you the most about joining the ministry at Rauschenbusch Metro Ministries in New York City?
I’m excited to come alongside a congregation and neighborhood that have been faithfully listening to God for years. It is an honor to enter into this story that has been going on for a long time. I’m inspired by the way the church and its community have responded to various needs and built on its assets, completely willing to pour itself into the kingdom work. I am called to learn from and minister alongside the vulnerable, the imaginative, the wounded, the marginalized, the generous and the hopeful. I am excited to plot resurrection, share stories of faith, tear down walls, point to God and respond creatively to injustices right alongside those at Metro Baptist and in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood.
What biblical passage or image connects most with your calling to missions?
For me, a calling to missions is a calling to a lifestyle; it’s a commitment to living a holistic life with a missional mindset. So I love many of the call stories in the Bible – Moses, Samuel, Ruth, the disciples – because they were all very ordinary, or even less-than-ordinary, people whom God called to live faithfully.
When Jesus sends out the 72 in Luke 10, he tells them to go be a part of the life and work already going on. He doesn’t instruct them to be anything special. They’re not even supposed to take anything with them – only peace. They are to help in the field work, rely on others and stay in the same place as long as possible. Those are the marks of kingdom work: participating in the everyday work alongside the community, sharing meals and space and resources with each other and committing to the life there.
Jesus’ teachings are captivating; they are the reason I’m compelled to go, and I have come to love the Beatitudes as gorgeous guideposts for reaching out in love and discovering pockets of the kingdom in daily life.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I am a photographer and graphic designer; so I love to take pictures, especially when it’s for fun. I also love planting. I practice yoga weekly and also read a lot. This year, my goal is to read the writings of 12 female authors. My husband, Blake, and I currently live near Shenandoah National Park, enabling us to spend a lot of our free time hiking.
How can Cooperative Baptists pray for you?
Pray for Blake’s and my transition to NYC, as we learn about our surroundings and our partners in ministry. Pray for Blake as he works to engage his own call in our new context. Pray that we will both be faithful to God’s guiding, that we are courageous in facing any challenges that may come and that we are compassionate bearers of peace and love.
Learn more about and support Lesley-Ann’s ministry at www.cbf.net/tommey.