Simone Lake is a noted church speaker and Bible study leader in the Rim Country. Now she has a degree from Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary to add to her impressive credentials.
Lake graduated in May with a master's degree in ministry from the Phoenix campus of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary, which is based in Mill Valley, Calif. She did not wait to get a seminary degree to start a ministry. Lake founded Deep Roots in Christ Ministries in 2000.
Over the years the ministry has grown, taking her to lead studies at churches and conferences around the country and do missionary work in Africa and South America.
Her mission in Africa took her to Mombassa, Kenya where she taught and trained church leaders to read, teach and study the Bible to strengthen their skills to reflect Christ. She worked with them to develop a prayer life and spiritual discipline.
"We are so fortunate to have so many resources in this country with which to build up our walk with Christ. There they hardly even have paper, let alone Bibles," she said.
Lake's Bible studies are generally those she has written. She said she has probably written 100 studies over the years.
Her most recent efforts will be presented in several different Bible studies around the Rim Country starting in early September. One is a study of the Gospel of John, the other is called "Gazing at the King: Exercises for Eternity"; another is How to Read, Study, Teach the Bible.
She explained "Gazing at the King" is a look at different characters in the Bible who focused on Christ in challenging times. "We will look at things that will help us in the business of life, dealing with disappointments, frustration, grief and more."
Lake's audience is frequently groups of women. She said she feels her presence at conferences and Bible studies encourages other women to step up and become a leader for other women seeking to have a more rewarding spiritual life.
"I hope my writing will take these lessons to a larger audience," she said.
Lake grew up in a Christian home where her father was very active in the church.
"My (paternal) grandmother taught me to pray and introduced me to Christ at a very young age."
She attended a Christian college, where she met her husband, John. With him, she has served in different churches and now they have the Church on Randall Place in Pine.
The Lakes have been in the Rim Country more than 10 years and started the old bike shop, Manzanita Cyclery.
While her husband ran the business, Lake was employed by the Payson school district. She holds undergraduate degrees in special education and English.
Working as a pastor's wife and in her own ministry, it took Lake five years to earn her master's degree in ministry. That education benefited from earlier training with Anne Graham Lotz, Billy Graham's daughter, Kay Arthur and Beth Moore.
Lake's future work, in addition to the upcoming Bible studies, includes a trip to Ontario, Canada to speak at a women's conference.
She hopes to grow her ministry with "others to come along side and help getting people rooted and grounded in Christ and His word."
"I have a heart to introduce people to Christ and help them develop a richer relationship with Christ," she said.
To learn more about Lake and her ministry, Deep Roots in Christ Ministries, visit the Web site www.SimoneLake.vpweb. com or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mountain Bible Church, Payson -- Gospel of John, 6:30 p.m., Monday (child care provided)
United Methodist Church, Payson -- How to Read, Study, Teach the Bible, noon, Tuesday
Mountain Bible Church, Payson -- Gazing at the King: Exercises for Eternity, 6:45 a.m., Thursday
Church on Randall Place, Pine -- Gazing at the King: Exercises for Eternity, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., Thursday (this is the only Lake program that is two hours in length as it includes an hour of prayer time before the Bible study)