Staff Focus: Danielle Kemp
By Linda Thomson
Danielle Kemp is the Director of Adult Ministries at Coast Hills, and that’s a tall order. It includes overseeing and working with Discipleship Groups, Women’s Bible Study, MOPS, MOMS Next, and Prison MOPS. She is also a wife (to her husband Randy), and self-confessed overly-protective mother to her sons Ethan and Jeremy. Yet as important as they are, these are all simply her roles. One can see the details of her position held at Coast Hills on the website under her bio. But there is so much more to Danielle than what she does.
Raised as a Mormon without Jesus as her Savior, Danielle began questioning that faith and belief system at an early age. When she was a Freshman at BYU in Hawaii, she recognized that she could no longer put her faith in something that she didn’t believe. She walked away from her faith and moved back to her home state of New Mexico, determined to build a life on her own.
She completed her education at the University of New Mexico and soon after moved to California and launched herself into a successful career. She says her goal was to become Vice President by the age of 30, and she probably would have made it if God hadn’t been there to show her something more important.
When she and Randy were expecting their first child, she was determined that being a mom would not distract her from her career goals. She wanted to give birth on a Friday and return to work on Monday, never taking her eyes off the goal.
Then came the birth of their son, and when she held that precious life in her arms she knew that no one else could care for him the way she would. She would never allow anyone to hurt him as she had been hurt as a child. Through further discussion with her husband, she was convinced that her most important job was at home raising their son.
She needed help and support to be the mother she wanted to be, so she turned to MOPS at Coast Hills for that help. It was there that she first learned who Jesus really is. She realized the incredible gift of forgiveness He offers, and through receiving that forgiveness, she was able to then forgive others for the pain of her childhood. It was a big step, and she knew that she could not do it alone. MOPS may have been the vessel, but Jesus was the answer. She needed to surrender all her pain, all her fears, and all her unforgiveness to Him. She believed He would take her hand and walk her through it. And He did.
God used the pain of her childhood to later prompt her to accept the position of Director of MOPS and then MomsNext. There, her heart for those “lost” in their faith helps her continue to nurture other moms and show them Jesus. He also used her wandering before she knew Christ to mold her into someone with a desire to help Christians connect with Christians, which brought her to her current role with Discipleship Groups.
Danielle ran into a personal dilemma, however, when it came to working with Prison MOPS. Could she bring that same caring compassion to mothers in prison? Mothers who might even be there because of something they had done to hurt their own children? She always thought she would be working with children, especially with hurting children, but could she minister to these mothers with the same passion? The answer was yes. In her heart she heard God’s encouragement: “Danielle, if you change the heart of a mom, you will change the life of a child.”
God did not waste her past experiences; He used them all for His glory. The story of how God brought Danielle to Coast Hills and then to her particular staff position is an amazing testimony to how much He loves His children and can use every event to mold them into the people He wants them to be. He has led Danielle through life, been with her through difficulty even when she wasn’t aware of Him, and is now using those experiences to show others His love and compassion.
How blessed the Coast Hills family is to have Danielle on staff.