Annabelle Peake Markey

Markey.webAnnabelle Peake Markey's journey to her current position as Associate Pastor at Community Lutheran Church in Sterling, Virginia, has, and continues to be one where her numerous and varied interests come together in an unique way.

Annabelle was raised in Frederick County and graduated from Urbana High School in 2002. With the help of The McCardell Family Scholarship, she graduated from Hood College in 2006 with a Bachelor of Arts in German, and minors in Global Studies and Medieval Studies. Her original goal was to become a simultaneous translator, but when her family came to visit her in Germany during her semester abroad and she was translating for them, she realized it wasn't the path she wanted. After graduation, she became employed with a tour operator that planned tours for groups including National Geographic and the Smithsonian. After three years, Annabelle began thinking about graduate work and how she might use her undergraduate degree more actively.
During her time with the tour operator, Annabelle became involved with a Lutheran church and was an active participant in its lay ministries and Stephen Ministry. Her boyfriend and now husband, Jeff, suggested she create a list and compare her likes, dislikes, professional experience skills, and things she liked doing in her spare time to help determine what path she wanted to take. After looking at her list, he asked if she had ever considered a career in ministry. This came as a big surprise to Annabelle. "Jeff pointed out that I was studying theology during my commute to work, I was very involved with my church, and that I'm good with people and like interacting with them. He also helped me realize that my love of languages, history, travel, and music all fit well with the duties of a pastor. After some thought, I talked to my pastors who encouraged me and were able to give me greater involvement at church, and after I preached my first sermon, I was pretty sure this was my path. Then, when I started reviewing seminary programs and saw how all the things I loved and were interested in fit in the curricula, I knew I had to go." Annabelle graduated from Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg in May 2013.
Now, she and the Senior Pastor divide the teaching, preaching, pastoral care duties, visitor follow-up, and more. Her Letter of Call highlights focusing on youth and family ministry, Christian education, and social ministry; she provides support, oversight, and guidance to the chairs of those ministries. She says that she loves the variety her work provides, and that her job revolves around stories – telling God's story, listening to others' stories, and using her own story to help others.
Annabelle is deeply grateful for the scholarship she received, allowing her and her parents to have fewer worries about tuition cost. "The fact that the scholarship is community-based says a lot about Frederick County and the Community Foundation and their commitment to education. It's nice to feel connected and supported by your hometown." Her advice for graduating high school seniors? "Do the things you love, keep learning, stay curious, and ask questions. Explore ways to make your interest and passion become a reality."

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