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Rachel Ridgeway: Seeing Christ in our midst

Rachel Ridgeway feels called to love and serve. 

“I have always felt like I had a heart for service,” the 21-year-old senior at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro said. 

Ridgeway grew up at Christ the King Church in Little Rock where her mother, Becky Ridgeway, is associate director of youth ministry. As a teen, she played guitar for the parish’s youth band, Team Jesus. 

“That has been my favorite form of prayer ever since I really learned to play guitar,” Ridgeway said, adding she fell in love with praise and worship music while attending diocesan youth events. “I just felt so connected, and a lot of times if I feel I don’t have the words to say, there’s a song or some type of music that says what I’m feeling or what the Lord is saying to me, (and it’s) exactly what I need to hear.” 

Graduating in December, in just three and a half years, Ridgeway will earn a general studies degree, with an emphasis in education and liberal arts. She hopes to work for an innercity nonprofit. She has worked the past three years at City Youth Ministries, a faith-based nonprofit that provides after-school care for youth in need.

“I firmly believe I see Christ most in those around me. Just seeing the poverty of some of these people, spiritual and worldly poverty, and just being able to serve them and show them Christ helps me to see Christ,” she said. 

This summer, Ridgeway went  to The Pines Catholic Camp in Texas to work as the activities coordinator for the second time. 

“Coming from a great community in high school and at Christ the King … community is always something I crave. I'm such an extrovert. Having friends who will hold you accountable and striving for the same goals is spiritually fulfilling,” she said.

Aprille Hanson Spivey

Aprille Hanson Spivey has contributed to Arkansas Catholic as a freelancer and associate editor since 2010. She leads the Beacon of Hope grief ministry at St. Joseph Church in Conway.

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