We Had To Ask: Connie Bernard
INSIDE OUT: Beginning on a personal note, where were you born and raised?
Connie Bernard: I was born and raised in Austin, Texas.
IO: Did you go to Bible College? And, if so, when and where?
CB: I worked at Jackson College of Ministries from 1981 to 1986 when Brother Bernard was the Dean of Students and an instructor there. I graduated from JCM in 1984.
IO: Did you go to secular college? And, if so, when and where?
CB: No, I did not.
IO: Tell us about your family?
CB: I have one brother a year older than me. He and his family live in the Austin area. My parents and my grandmother (my mother’s mother, age 93) all live in Austin. There are five generations in our family that are in the church. Brother Bernard and I have three children that are all grown, one daughter-in-law, and one grandson—and a granddaughter on the way.
IO: What is your favorite food?
CB: Mexican food! Chips and hot sauce AND milk chocolate! (Not together!)
IO: If you could have dinner with one person that is alive today and that you have never met, who would it be?
CB: Goodness, that’s a hard one. I am not sure. Possibly Michelle Obama. I would like to try to influence her on some important conservative issues and some concerns that I have about our youth society.
IO: Do you have a hobby?
CB: Playing the piano, reading, spending time with family.
IO: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?
CB: I would probably stay here in Austin, but continue to travel throughout the world.
IO: Has there ever been a time when you felt like you didn’t know God’s will?
CB: Yes, when God was changing the direction of our ministry. It can happen many times; that is where trusting Him comes in—knowing He wants the best for you and wants you to be happy in His will, and He will come through!
IO: Today’s youth are dealing with issues that no other generation has had to face; what do they need to survive?
CB: A deep communion and real relationship with Jesus Christ and a strong foundation in the Word. I deeply feel for our youth today. They have a very aggressive society pushing around them, but the greater power resides inside of them!
IO: Last year, your husband was elected our General Superintendent, and you have become our First Lady. Is it what you imagined?
CB: Yes and no. It is such an honor to serve, and I knew that it would be a very humbling experience.
IO: What are some of the challenges?
CB: My biggest challenge has been to balance my time and keeping up with the priorities and with the various schedules.
IO: What advice would you give to a young lady that feels a call to the ministry—either as a preacher’s wife or as a minister herself?
CB: What I would say is: “Dear one, first of all, He loves you so very much and so do I! Second, seek God in every aspect of your life and keep a tender heart before Him AND listen. Third, be yourself in whatever you strive to do. He calls you just as you are. We should strive to better equip ourselves, but we should never feel inadequate or intimidated. Give God freedom to use you, and He will!”
Today’s world is looking for real people that God has transformed. Masks need to be abandoned. It is time for you to realize that He loves you and wants to use you. There is a ministry for you . . . now. Don’t be afraid to step out and ask God to use you right now in your local church. He will continue to direct you into greater paths.