Prepared for Service
Abigail Manes recently crossed the stage as a new WBU graduate, earning her degree in math education. But her classroom for the foreseeable future will actually be in a church rather than a traditional teaching assignment, as she takes the reins as children’s minister at First Baptist Church in Muleshoe.
A native of Amarillo, Abigail has been visiting the Plainview campus of Wayland since fourth grade as a participant in the state Bible drill. She even came to recruiting days with her youth group. But it wasn’t until her senior year she seriously began to consider making the school right up the road her second home.
“I came for a tour with (my mom) and absolutely fell in love with the place,” she recalls. “Shaney was my recruiter and she helped me along the process every step of the way. It was a perfect fit for me. I immediately met people who were my family, and I loved having that experience before I even officially got here.”
With her love for children, Abigail settled into an education major, but said God
began to reveal that he might want her care for the younger generation to look a little
different. She added religious education as a minor and started interning at a local
church, then served as children’s ministry in Ransom Canyon for two years, all while
still a student.
Abigail appreciated her religion courses where she felt challenged and was able to engage with professors. She also learned valuable skills that will help her in the new role in Muleshoe.
“(The classes) really helped shape me as a minister. It’s wonderful being able to sit down and talk with other students who are in ministry positions as well and just bounce ideas off each other,” she said. “I love how the whole department has just covered me in prayer.”
While Abigail knows she’s gotten a great education at Wayland, she is also thrilled that she’s been able to do so without incurring a ton of debt. Local scholarships helped her the first year, but it was the WBU financial aid package – which included endowed scholarships, a centennial scholarship and a Pell grant – that helped her finish a four-year degree without loans.
“Because of this, I haven’t had to work as much, so I can focus on my studies and the ministry to my kids. Because of people who have donated that money, I’ve been able to pour into the lives of the next generation, and that’s something I wouldn’t have been able to do if I had to get a full-time job outside of school,” she added.
Abigail isn’t the only one thrilled with her WBU experience. Her parents are pretty proud that she’s had the opportunities for great learning, internships, ministry experience and affordability. They also love that she’s been able to do all that in a place where the Christian worldview is evident.
“They were very at ease sending me here because they knew there were people here who cared about me,” she says.