Called Early, and Pastoring and Teaching Ever Since
I was born in a Nazarene parsonage in 1959. My parents, Wayne and Wanda Sharpes had come to pastor in LaCrosse, Wisconsin after Seminary graduation. Two other children followed. We have been a very close family, committed to serving the church our whole lives.
As a child, I always loved the church and had a great experience growing up in a parsonage. I was always sensitive spiritually and at age five, had a keen sense that I needed forgiveness for sin and to give my life to Christ. One day, my mother was playing a record of Olivet's traveling choir singing, and I began weeping with conviction. She asked me what was wrong and led me to accepting the Lord.
We moved because of pastorates in Wisconsin, Kentucky, Ohio, and Kansas. I went to Mount Vernon Nazarene University, where I confirmed a call to preach and was filled with the Holy Spirit. I graduated in 1981 and was excited about the possibility of giving my all to seminary and my call.
During my single young adult years, I enjoyed traveling and pursuing personal interests and hobbies. After seminary graduation in 1985, I served for a time as an assistant pastor in the United Methodist Church. However, my heart was still with the Nazarenes, so in 1985, I accepted a call to be senior pastor of the Bowling Green Church of the Nazarene in Bowling Green, Ohio. Within a year though, a need for what I called "continuity" in my life and a wonderful Nazarene seminarian named Alan Duce lead to marriage in 1987. We became co-pastors in 1987 at Bowling Green. The co-pastorate was a unique set-up and allowed Alan and me to divide time between child care and ministry. We had two children, Laura and Samuel.
We began our second pastorate in 1995 in Monroe, Michigan. In this assignment, we felt that a better way for ministry effectiveness was for me to assume a staff position according to the needs of the church. Although I served as an associate, we continued to share the pulpit. I functioned as a children's pastor, in addition to assisting Alan in other pastoral duties. I also became very dedicated to the training of persons called to professional ministry. I was the chairperson of the Ministerial Studies Board for the Eastern Michigan District. I also taught in the Bible College Alliance program on our district.
In March of 2003, Alan and I each accepted an invitation from Dr. Hiram Sanders to teach full-time at Nazarene Bible College. We resigned from the pastorate in Michigan in May and moved to Colorado Springs in July of 2003. We were on the faculty full-time until June of 2009. We moved back to Michigan to pastoral ministry at Richfield Church of the Nazarene, east of Flint, Michigan. My husband is the lead pastor, and I am on staff as an associate pastor. I continue to teach part-time online for NBC.
In March of 2013, I finished a Ph.D. in Theological and Religious Studies, specializing in Theology, Philosophy, and Cultural Studies in the Joint Ph.D. Program from the Iliff School of Theology and the University of Denver.
Today, our daughter, Laura, and her husband reside in Yukon, Oklahoma, as well as our precious granddaughter, Ellis Marie. Our son, Samuel, and his wife live in the Kansas City area.
I enjoy hiking, skiing, reading, golfing, traveling, bicycling, long walks, yoga, and movies. I also don’t like to be too far from a fresh cup of coffee, which is best when in the company of good friends. My greatest joy is spending time in fellowship with those I love most-my husband, children, and my little granddaughter!
Dr. Janice L. Duce, NBC Adjunct Professor and Pastor
Filed Under: Communicator Published: 01/27/2020