Laurel Pridgen

Children's Ministry Pastor

Laurel has been attending First Naz since she and her husband, Steven, moved to Calgary in 2014. A U.S. citizen (now Canadian as well), Laurel attended Biola University and graduated with her BA in Christian Ministries, specializing in Children’s Ministry in 2013. While attending Biola, Laurel served as a KidVenture intern for Yorba Linda Friends Church from 2011-2013, attended the Focus on the Family Leadership Institute, and directed the Evangelical Mormon Interactions (EMI) Ministry. As the EMI Director, Laurel served as a mission team leader, planning evangelism outreach opportunities to Mormons in Southern California, as well as leading mission teams to Utah. These trips focused on encouraging the local church through service, as well as outreach to the local Mormon and polygamous Mormon communities. For a year after their wedding, Steven and Laurel worked in Utah with a ministry there called Tri Grace Ministries in Ephraim, Utah.

Laurel heard God’s call to ministry, as a vocation, when she was on a mission trip to Utah while serving in a preschool Sunday School class on Easter Sunday. Laurel grew up in a family that encouraged children serving in the local church and she believes her many unique experiences of helping teach children’s classes at church at young age, as well as participating in children’s church musicals and Awana program, helped root her heart deeply for a life of serving God as a pastor to children.

Laurel has served as a volunteer and a part time staff member throughout her time at First Naz, between having her children. In 2020, two of her children were diagnosed with a rare disease called Barth Syndrome. Laurel had to resign from her ministry role in January of 2021, because her youngest was most likely going to undergo a heart transplant in the coming months. While her life has changed being a mom to medical children, her call to ministry has not. In 2022, Laurel was ordained as an Elder pastor in the Church of the Nazarene. Laurel currently serves as  a volunteer by being a parent advisor at the Alberta Children’s Hospital, a role that has come from God’s unique purpose for her and the medical journey her family has been on. Laurel believes that she is doing exactly what God wants her to be doing at this moment, which is being a mom, wife, pastor, and advocate.

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