I “met” Rachel in the Blessed is She Midwest group on Facebook. Her ministry, Little Flower Events, caught my attention. I thought it would be interesting to learn more about it and was excited to interview her. Her story is awesome, her family sounds beautiful, and her vulnerability and passion are inspiring. It is my hope that you will be excited about her ministry and be as enthusiastic as I am about supporting her in some way be it prayer, sharing information about this ministry, or even attending one (or several events).
I feel so blessed to learn parts of her incredible story, and I am thrilled to share it with you.
We’re so excited about this! We’ve been desperately and intently praying on Catholic support. My husband is a convert from a Moravian background (evangelical sect pre-Luther) and I am a “revert” to Catholicism. I was Baptized, received my First Communion and Confirmed a Catholic in the 8th grade. I stopped practicing shortly after my mom became a Mormon in high school and found an amazing Wesleyan (another evangelical group) church after college. I was embraced by its congregation and shown love and support when I needed it most. It was there that I finally opened my heart to the Spirit. I was really involved in their ministries – small groups, women’s ministries and such. My now husband, Jason, was going through the RCIA process when we met on eHarmony.
He was then consulting & fundraising for a pro-life non-profit and toured the country with Matt Maher and other artists. Jason’s background includes everything from having a recording studio, to artist management to building artist programs. We attended several shows and conferences together before I went to the one that would change everything. It was at a Steubenville in Lowell, MA that I saw the true form of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. We had a booth for the non-profit and worked closely with the Lifeteen coordinator, Jill Patten. It was the most amazing moment of my life. Within minutes of being exposed to the Blessed Sacrament I accepted and understood that Jesus was present in the Eucharist and the Catholic church is the only true church. I found myself in the confessional and received the Sacrament of Reconciliation for the second time in my life and was then able to receive the Body and Blood of Christ through the Eucharist – I came home. Since that day Jason made his declaration of faith and we dedicated our lives to Christ and His Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.
We petitioned for annulments and have lived as brother and sister since. Our annulments are both at the “defender of the bond” stage and progressing rapidly thanks be to God! We do our best to live out our Catholic faith with every breath we take and pray that we can show truth to others through our actions and trust in God’s plan for our lives. We have four children between us – Addie (8), Ella (4), Lily (3) and Grant (2). The youngest two live with us full time and we have visitation with the older girls on weekends and through the summer. Our kiddos are a huge part of our ministry and travel with us frequently.
We reside in High Point, NC and frequently attend St. Pius X Church in Greensboro, NC when we aren’t on the road. We work from home – or wherever the ministry takes us really and enjoy spending time with our family. We love the beach & lakes. We enjoy Disney and our kids obsessed with all things related zoo & aquariums. If you follow me or our ministry on Facebook and Instagram you can track our adventures and will notice there are frequent posts involving some animal of the wild whether it lives in an actual zoo exhibit or our three bedroom apartment.
1) What inspired you to start Little Flower Events?
Prior to starting little flower, we were investors in another promotion company in the Northeast. We saw a need for Christian music and felt called to promotion but weren’t ready to take the leap into starting our own brand. After several months we felt God calling us to help Catholic artists and spread the truth of the Church throughout contemporary Christian music. We had planned on carrying that mission through the other company, but after a lot of prayer and discerning conversations we decided to start our own brand – one that is unapologetically Catholic but completely loving and accepting. We wanted to create a place of ecumenism but also a place where theologically truthful and inspired music is shared – tours with Catholic and Evangelical artists and venues that are both Catholic and Evangelical. The Holy Spirit lit a fire in our hearts for creating the first national Catholic promotion company in the country. It hit us like a ton of bricks this past March and since we’ve booked over 30 shows in 19 Dioceses. We poured our life’s savings and investments into building Little Flower Events. Our prayer is that we are living out God’s plan and we can bring others to know the love of Jesus Christ through our shows and events.
2) What is it like working in a ministry with your husband?
It’s simultaneously beautiful, difficult, rewarding and challenging. Before answering the call to our ministry through Christian music I had to answer the call to my vocation as a wife and mother. I truly believe that I’d be unable to answer this calling with anyone other than Jason. He mirrors Christ’s love for the Church in a way that words can’t explain. He supports my path to holiness through following Church teaching on divorce and has walked through the healing annulment process with me since my return to the Church. Prior to surrendering my life at the foot of the Cross I tried to force my plan for my life. Obviously, that was a no go. Life became so much more peaceful once I accepted God is in control. Since I found my home in the Church and said yes to our Lord’s plan for my life I’ve found unimaginable blessing. We were given the inspiration of little flower and all its challenges from the Holy Spirit.
Both Jason and I have to work daily on communicating and taking up the armor of God to get through the day. The evil one tries to hide behind the idea that he doesn’t exist, but we’ve felt first hand his attacks. Thankfully with the help of our Lord Jesus and the Blessed Mother we are able to persevere. We face unfathomable challenges from financial struggles to food poisoning. Our kids have been sick, our car has broken down, we’ve been ridiculed and have struggled with making ends meet, but in the end we’ve been blessed. The love from our Savior, support from the Church, the love of our brothers & sisters in Christ (Catholic and Protestant / Evangelical), and God’s provision have pushed us forward. Like any married couple, we have our days of struggle but we have been blessed with more love and fun than I can express. I spend every day with my best friend. Our kids have two parents at home and we literally get to see the world. We’ve done radio tours, shows, conferences and lots of zoos…I mean a lot!
Our lives and vocations aren’t the norm but I say yes every morning and trust that God’s plan for me is the best plan. I can’t imagine doing life or any other vocation with anyone else.
3) How do you balance running a ministry and growing your relationship with God?
Early on I accepted that Little Flower is just one of my ministries. I use my role as a wife & mom, sister and Catholic woman as a way to draw closer to the Lord. I do this by teaching my kids to know Jesus, loving my spouse, and serving my community. It’s the serving my community piece that sprouted Little Flower Events. Once the Holy Spirit planted the seed I chose to cultivate it by first going to God in prayer and through the Sacraments.
I put the Church first by honoring her liturgical calendar, receiving her Sacraments and finding God’s grace in her teaching and guidance. We observe holy days and ask the saints for intercession often – especially our Blessed Mother Mary, St. Therese our patron & Sts. Catherine of Siena and Michael. We make decisions from discerning prayer and use the Spirit as our guide.
The balance part for me is knowing that God gave us this ministry as a way to know Him better. Since starting Little Flower Events, we’ve come to know the beautiful stories of the saints, the teachings of the Church and have made wonderful relationships with Clergy and other brothers and sisters in Christ. We’ve learned that division isn’t from God and love is the key to building His kingdom. We are continuously exposed to new people which leads to new opportunities to spread truth. It’s incredible and rewarding in a way that is indescribable. I draw closer every time I pray, receive Christ through the Sacraments and engage His Church. The Holy Spirit gave me a beautiful opportunity to come closer through Little Flower Events.
4) What made you choose your name?
We chose the name “Little Flower Events” from the beautiful and faithful St. Therese of the Little Flower. Her devotion to Jesus was presented to us on a car ride home from New York City this past March. We simultaneously blurted her name out when brainstorming. We both felt so called to her devotion to Jesus and after learning more about her life we decided to make our ministry her namesake. Her quote “Love proves itself by deeds, so how am I to show my love? Great deeds are forbidden me. The only way I can prove my love is by scattering flowers and these flowers are every little sacrifice, every glance and word, and the doing of the least actions for love.” encompasses all that our ministry is. We want to show Christ’s love through every action we take and word we speak – or sing. Our goal is to love each other and our neighbors as God commands and St. Therese teaches. She was a beautiful soul and we believe the Holy Spirit introduced us to her as a way to guide and pray for us.
5) Your website has the phrase “a new means for a new evangelization.” Why do you think new evangelization efforts are important? How do you think we can find ways to be part of the new evangelization?
The focus of our ministry is both evangelization and the new evangelization. We embrace the idea that people need to hear untainted, unchanged, and unfiltered truth. We are called to build God’s kingdom and win souls for truth – not half truth, convenient truth or someone’s interpretation of truth but THE truth.
New evangelization efforts are important in this process. Jason and I feel called, through little flower events, to spread truth through music and using it in both forms of evangelization. Jason was evangelized to by a wonderful Catholic man named Matt Aujero. Once becoming Catholic, Jason reintroduced the Church to me through the Sacraments at Steubenville and the music of Matt Maher – a Catholic and theologically sound musician….a little Scott Hahn and the Holy Spirit added to the journey home.
Our testimonies of conversion and coming home embody the goal of our ministry. Convenience and division have swept the world and we need to show people Christ’s love and Church for what it is…unwavering and grounded truth. We can still do that in a way that’s reverent, untainted and loving. We believe one way is through music and our ministry. We encourage everyone to come and experience the Spirit and welcome them into environments where they are exposed to the Church either through our artists or our Catholic venues – some of which host holy hours pre show! For our Catholic brothers and sisters, we encourage them to dig deeper into their faith. We want to give the Spirit another avenue to light their hearts on fire for God and show people another way to fellowship and love each other. So often we see people go through the motions. We want to inspire an alive and vibrant Church for the world to see and come to love.
It’s our hope that we can show others how to live out their faith and truly hand their lives over to the Lord. We want to see an increase in people called to religious vocations and see our children grow to be practicing and faithful Catholics. There are a lot of ways to be a part of the new evangelization whether it’s sharing your faith verbally with others, volunteering in your Church’s activities and outreach opportunities (you know they need you!), engaging others through hospitality and fellowship, receiving the Sacraments and supporting ministries. Ways to help with our ministry’s place in the new evangelization are to come to our shows, share online and support our artists through our non-profit, Adoration Artists.
6) What can you tell us about your current tour?
We currently have over 30 shows booked in over 19 dioceses. We are everywhere from the Northeast to the Midwest and south into the Sunshine State. We are getting ready to start the Josh Wilson Solo Experience tour with Catholic artists Ike Ndolo and Sarah Kroger this Tuesday. We will begin the tour in Pittsburgh, PA and end it on 9/3 in Destin, FL. We are all traveling by bus with our gear, hopes and dreams onboard. This will be the first major tour for our two youngest kiddos and our first national tour with Catholic openers. We have over half of our shows being held in Catholic churches and have been blessed through working with the youth leaders, clergy and Protestant / Evangelical friends in the areas of the shows. We’ve all pulled together in the name of Christ and can’t wait to kickstart our fall!
Later this season we’ll host Jonny Diaz, Crowder, Building 429, Unspoken and Jeremy Camp as headliners along with several Catholic openers Mathias Michael, Connor Flanagan, Josh Blakesley, Dana Catherine and Sarah Kroger. These artists are all a part of our nonprofit entity, Adoration Artists which exists to equip them with the resources they need to participate in a national tour. We are in need of prayers for both safe travels and numbers to carry on this mission. It’s a tall order but through faith and prayer I know we can have a great season.
7) How can people get involved with your ministry?
We are a ministry driven by the support of ticket purchasers, volunteers and prayer warriors. Aside from coming out to our shows and bringing your youth groups, friends and family, there are tons of ways to be involved in our behind the scenes work. The thing we need most is of course prayer. PLEASE PRAY.
We can use your time and your talent. We live in North Carolina but do shows nationwide. It’s impossible for us to post flyers everywhere. We’d love for you to join our street team. People have the opportunity to be our voice in the community and in their churches. We encourage you to share our story, our page and our cause. You can work our events as volunteers day of show – taking tickets, helping with catering, sharing your provision if you own a business – hotel rooms, rental cars, sponsor our event in advertising, etc. You can add our events to your bulletins and invite your neighbors. We currently have internship opportunities for students, a need for marketing help in building databases and the need for kind words of encouragement through social media and our website.
We kindly accept and encourage involvement from everyone despite denomination. Please share it with people every denomination – after all that’s the goal of what we do! We love you all and our ministry’s success is widely dependent on your support.
8) If there isn’t a show near us, are there other ways we can support your ministry?
Yes! One way of helping us succeed is to expose others to our ministry and give us a platform continue to grow. Your likes, shares and support for both Little Flower Events and Adoration Artists on Facebook and Instagram give us the exposure we need to reach the masses. Please share and encourage others to spread the word! Our goal is to eventually have at least one show in each diocese per year. If we aren’t in your area we’d love to get there! We can use your support in helping us find both Catholic and Evangelical churches, schools and other venues who are passionate about bringing in concerts and events to draw people closer to Christ.
Monetarily, we expand our ministry through shows coordinated by little flower events and through our non-profit entity Adoration Artists. Adoration Artists was created for the purpose of equipping developing and upcoming musicians with the resources they need to spread truth and fund their ministries. These artists, mostly Catholic, are individuals we personally believe in and who we believe offer theologically sound music. Our goal is to lessen their financial burden and give them a platform to break into Christian music and gain valuable exposure through our shows. By partnering with us through Adoration Artists, you are participating in the new evangelization in that all Adoration Artists are voices for truth and give people an opportunity to draw closer to Christ through their music. Adoration Artists is funded through monthly gifts given by individuals, families, youth groups, Knights Councils, and women’s groups – really anyone. This the most impactful way you can support us. These gifts keep the wheels on our vehicles turning & provide our artists with an opportunity that would otherwise be impossible. Our immediate goal is to find 1,000 people willing to give $1 per day / $30 per month by the end of our fall season. It’s a tall task but that’s only 5 people per U.S. diocese. Perhaps you can be one and or help us find the remainders! Sign up and additional information is located on our website www.adorationartists.com
9) What has been the most rewarding part of this ministry?
This is tough. There have been several blessings and fruits as a result of the work we do. I’m blessed in strengthening my relationship with God. This ministry has tested my faith and sanity beyond my wildest imagination. Every test and trial though brings me back to the foot of the cross and closer to my Redeemer.
I love working with my best friend and living out my faith with my family. We meet incredible people in all walks of faith and I feel inspired by them every day. I love working with the other ministries we encounter – women’s prison ministries, opportunities to serve & employ single moms, group homes for adults with disabilities, creating mercy bags for the homeless, and celebrating recovery with addicts.
We have a heart for evangelizing and we seek and find opportunities to spread truth in everything we do. We say “yes Lord send us” every day and are taking up armor for Him and His Church daily. It’s not always glamorous and is often scary but rebuking lies and defending truth have blessed our souls. We stand firm on the foundation of our Catholic faith and love people with everything we have. We are so thankful for Christ’s redemption and seeing bodies and masses of people worshipping His name at our events is an amazing thing to encounter. There’s a mighty fire ablaze when bodies of believers gather and share His glory! It’s contagious and you can feel the Spirit move throughout the room. Uniting the Body of Christ is the most rewarding part of our ministry.
You can learn more about both ministries below:
Little Flower Events