Joy as congregations welcome a newly ordained minister
Published on 20 June 2023 5 minutes read
A former beauty therapist/barber who came to faith following a chance conversation with a waitress in Jamaica has been ordained as a Church of Scotland minister.
Rev Kaye Gardiner has been introduced into Kenmure Parish Church in Bishopbriggs in the north of Glasgow and nearby Wallacewell Church.
She said she has found what she has been looking for all her life and is determined to ensure that the doors are always open to enable people "to step into the gifts that God has given them".
"On the evening of my ordination, I had the most wonderful sense that I was exactly where I was supposed to be and that I was in God's timing," Kaye explained.
"Nine months earlier I had been offered the opportunity to join a team ministry but I heard God say ‘wait'.
"It is not an easy word to hear since I had been in training for seven years and I was ready to get going.
"However, none of answering God's call is about us so I had to be obedient as I know that I can't do any of this on my own strength, I need to be in step with Him.
"Kenmure Church was packed, the worship was incredible and we thought that the roof was going to lift off.
"What a night of celebration, it was pure joy.
"The praise flowed out of the church's open doors into the surrounding area and to my delight local residents tuned in online with us.
"This seemed a perfect start to my ministry as when I was doing a placement in Zambia with the United Church of Zambia, I often was drawn into churches as I walked past because I could hear the worship and I prayed that one day this would also be the case in Scotland."
Kaye, 50, who is on a one-year contract to light up the two congregations, said she was deeply passionate about the future of the Church of Scotland as it charts a new course with a message that never changes.
"My hope for the future is to see the Church on fire for Jesus," she added.
"God has given me such a passion in my heart and what He gives me is to give to others.
"Therefore, I long to see the Church so passionately in love with Jesus that they can't help but shine wherever they go so that others long for what they have."
Kaye grew up on a farm near Lesmahagow in South Lanarkshire and after leaving school worked in hospitality before training as a beauty therapist and barber.
She worked at her mum's salon, Jennifer's Hair and Beauty, in Lesmahagow for 20 years.
"Hospitality is a vital part of our ministry," said Kaye.
"Everyone needs to be welcomed and cared for, after all Jesus spent an awful lot of time around the table sharing.
"My little beauty room was a sacred space where every morning I prepared for what lay ahead by asking God to create opportunities for me to share Jesus.
"People found a safe place on my beauty couch where they felt able to open up about their lives and I was able to share what God had done for me, especially in the darkest days."
Although she grew up in the Church of Scotland, Kaye says her journey to faith as an adult only started when she was 31.
"I was on holiday in Jamaica and got talking to a waitress at the resort and she shared her testimony with me," she recalled.
"I saw the love of Jesus shine from her eyes as she shared that the most important thing in her life is going to church to worship Jesus.
"I knew in that moment that she had what I had been looking for all my life.
"Up until that moment I had tried to fill the hole within me, that only God could fill, with material possessions.
"I was 35 before I finally picked up the courage to walk through the doors of a church and I was shaking like a leaf.
"But God met me that day and for the first time ever I heard the gospel that no matter what I had done in my life, Jesus loved me and had died and was raised for me so that I could start again."
Kaye has dyslexia and graduated with a BD Hons Divinity and Ministry (First Class) from the University of Glasgow.
As part of her training for the ministry, she did placements at Kirkton Church in Carluke, South Lanarkshire where former minister, Rev Iain Cunningham encouraged her to do a placement with the church in Zambia.
Back in Scotland, Kay did a placement at Viewpark Parish Church in Uddingston, South Lanarkshire and spent her probation at St Rollox Church in Glasgow, which is likely the Church's most multicultural congregation.
Mother to Jodie, 25, and Ross, 23, Kaye is divorced from their father – a defining moment in her life.
"Divorce is like being ripped in two and after my marriage broke down, God called me six months after I left my old life," she explained.
"Nothing is wasted and He opened my eyes to let me see the need for prayer for healing in our churches.
"Wounds should never be allowed to fester in the body of Christ.
"I believe that every church across Scotland should have a prayer ministry team and that no service should end without those gathered receiving the opportunity to receive prayer to bring the healing and transformation that God wants to bring."
Kaye said she believed in what she calls "body ministry".
"I hope to release every single person in my churches to step into the gifts that God has given them," she added.
"I am an evangelist and I hope to raise up and encourage those with this gift to get out into our community to reach those who do not know Jesus.
"Recently I have been part of a team going out into the streets to engage with those who as yet haven't given their lives to Jesus and I have seen God do the most amazing miracles.
"He is on the move and we only need to make ourselves available to join in."
Kaye was ordained as a Minister of Word and Sacrament at Kenmure Parish Church on the 6th of June.