In profile: Rev. Lynn Batista, Davie United Methodist Church

Other job experience: Former pastor of Calvary United Methodist Church, Lake Worth; former director of Christian education at Plantation United Methodist Church; former associate pastor at First United Methodist Church of Pompano Beach; former surgical intensive care nurse.

Education: Degree in nursing, Barry University; M. Div., Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary, Evanston, Ill.

Personal: Age 50. Born in Atlanta.

Family: Divorced. Children: Harold, 22.

How did you get into your vocation?

My family teases me that other kids brought home lost animals, but I'd bring home lost kids. They weren't the popular ones. Sometimes, they were from a different race or culture. I still have a great passion for [the] marginalized. But I didn't feel a call until I was 18.

How does your feeling for the marginalized affect your ministry?

We go to Dania once a month and give out hot meals. Beyond that, we're a loving and hospitable church. We welcome people and hear their stories. Sometimes, they've been hurt by a church. A lot of times, just listening makes them feel this is a safe place, and they come to a new understanding of God's love.

What do you do to relax?

I love to walk the beach. I also love planting and messing with impatiens. And I love to travel. I'm just back from Australia and New Zealand.

A favorite vacation spot?

Santorini in the Mediterranean. Just beautiful.

A favorite pastime?

Cross stitching. Right now, I'm working on a piece with multiple butterflies. I started just before I learned I was moving here. It's symbolic of a new life.

What book have you been recommending lately?

I've lately been reading The Shack. It's about a man who lost a child to murder and felt distant from God. He then feels called back to the murder site and meets the Trinity.

Favorite TV shows?

All the Law & Order ones. Also M*A*S*H and The Golden Girls.

Favorite film(s)?

The Narnia movies. They tell the gospel in a way that connects with people who don't go to church. I also love the scenery in the movie, which was filmed in New Zealand.

I also love Pretty Woman, for the whole idea of lives being changed. And I love Julia Roberts and Richard Gere.

Favorite music? Favorite performer(s)?

For secular music, I tune to an oldies station. For Christian music, I like Michael W. Smith. He brings a joy in the faith, of being loved by God. A lot of Christians don't do that.

Do you have a hero?

Mother Teresa. She shared the love of God with the least, in some of the hardest parts of the world.

What did you think of the revelation that she felt alienated from God for much of her life?

I deeply appreciated her honesty. All Christians go through that dark night of the soul.

What's the most important thing you've ever learned?

How much God loves me. It's a sense that's evolved through my circumstances, good and bad. I've had miscarriages, divorce and cancer scares, and God has always been part of my life.

— James D. Davis

Do you know someone we should profile? Tell Religion Editor James D. Davis at 954-356-4730 or jdavis @sunsentinel.com.

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