Springfield, MO

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SBJ photo by Jessica Rosa

2020 40 Under 40: Christie Love, 39

Pastor, The Connecting Grounds

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Christie Love is all about making connections and inspiring others.

“Some of the greatest successes of others that I have had the chance to participate in have been helping others take positive life steps in new directions,” she says.

Love founded LeadHer, an international faith-based women’s leadership development organization, in 2011. It operated until 2017, when she pivoted to launch The Connecting Grounds, a community-focused interdenominational church, in 2018.

Through a partnership with the state Children’s Division and local service agencies, the Family Connection program was launched where the church hosts supervised visits for kids to connect to their biological or first families.

During the coronavirus crisis, Love’s ministry also provided an average of 3,500 meals a week. Partnering with churches and volunteers, such services as tax preparation, mental health and wound care, as well as COVID-19 screenings, were provided to homeless people.

“When the pandemic hit, most other places shut down. We just moved outside,” she says.

What is your proudest moment? Walking in my undergraduate graduation with my children cheering for me. It’s never too late to finish what you start, set big goals and start new adventures.

What about your job would shock people? Our weekly worship services are attended by those who are struggling to survive, as well as successful professionals, nonprofit leaders, teachers and community leaders.


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