We had the good fortune of connecting with Courtney Garrett and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Courtney, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your organization?
I had been in ministry for many years but always felt there was a missing piece for people who did not grow up in the church but were curious or seeking. Many people have a lot of unanswered questions about Christianity. Without understanding basic foundational truths, it is very difficult to have a framework for understanding the Bible and how it applies to our lives. I wanted to give people a starting point–for those who are starting from ground zero, to those who need to be refreshed in the faith, to those who grew up in the church but have stepped away and want to reinvestigate Christianity. I have two simple Bible studies that give people this starting point so they can walk through the basics in a nonintimidating way.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Through various opportunities I experienced in my 20s, I discovered I had a passion for teaching the Bible. I decided to pursue more training to be better equipped to teach. I graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary with a Masters of Arts in Christian Education and then took a position with a church that was just getting started. My early years included a lot of trial and error as I tried to discover how to shepherd and teach women. I did so many things wrong but I learned a great deal along the way! All of those early years in ministry gave me a safe space to experiment and hone my gifts. One thing hasn’t changed: my love for connecting with women and seeing how they come alive when they encounter God through the Bible. 101 Christianity is all about giving people the opportunity to see their life transformed through Scripture.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would start with breakfast at Tiny Boxwoods and then take time to wander through Thompson & Hanson and pop in next door to Indulge! If my friend brought her kiddos and it was a pretty day we’d head to Herman Park and take a train ride (that never gets old to me, even as my kids get older!) and then head to the Museum of Natural Science to see the dinosaurs and the Butterfly Center. Lunch at Picnic and then maybe onto an Astros game that evening! The next day would be just for the girls, heading to Trellis Spa for a massage and then to take a walk on the wonderful trail on the Houstonian grounds. We’d have late lunch at Adair Kitchen and then maybe head home for a nap! If the Houston Ballet had a performance that evening, we’d head down to a pre-theater dinner at Cultivated F+B in the Lancaster Hotel and then walk across the street to take in the ballet. The next day we’d sleep in and have a lazy morning at my house and then head over to lunch at Toulouse and stop in a few spots in the River Oaks District. We would make our way to Kuhl-Linscomb where we would take our time walking through all the fun spaces. Dinner at Armando’s or one of Ford Fry’s restaurants, probably State of Grace!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I have had a series of amazing mentors and ministry friends that have believed in me and my work, but more than anything, I have the most supportive family! My husband is my biggest cheerleader and supporter and my extended family (my parents, siblings and aunt) have provided invaluable encouragement as I have pursued my calling. I couldn’t be more grateful for them! I also have a handful of close friends who have provided a great deal of insight and feedback as I have written my Bible studies.
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