Church has always been part of Wendy Hampton’s life.
“I grew up in church, from birth to the time I left home,” she said. “It’s always been a part of who I am.”
When she and her wife, Brenda, had twin boys, she wanted church to be part of their lives too.
But until a friend told her about Kingwood Christian Church in 2019, they had a hard time finding a church in Kingwood that was welcoming for their family.
Then they attended the Table service and heard the welcome statement. “There’s not many churches that even utter that statement, much less live it out,” Wendy said.
The Hamptons had visited other churches but didn’t feel comfortable.
“You can tell when you’re welcomed and not welcomed,” Brenda said. “But it’s a big reason why we came here. We were accepted as a family. And not just by one or two people.”
Wendy added, “We’ve truly felt love not judgment regardless of which service we attend. I feel KWCC is a church whose mission is truly aligned with the mission of Jesus when he walked the earth.”
Wendy was raised Baptist in a small Texas town, Hughes Springs, north of Longview. She lived in California briefly but otherwise she’s spent her whole life in Texas.
Brenda was born in Beaumont, but her family moved to Kingwood when she was growing up. She had not really been raised in a church, but she wanted their sons, Taylor and Tyler, to be. Yet she didn’t want them to be raised in a church that was all about hell and damnation.
Brenda went to graduate school in Colorado and also lived in New Mexico, where she built a successful bed-and-breakfast business. But she came back home to be closer to family.
The Hamptons met in 2006. At the time, Brenda was a realtor and Wendy was looking for a place to live. “It took her a really long time to find me a place to live,” Wendy laughed.
They had a marriage ceremony at the Unity Church in Houston in 2009. “If we were going to have kids, we needed to be married, “ Brenda said. And in 2021, they were married again at Kingwood Christian Church after it became legal for same sex couples.
They live busy lives. Their 12-year-old sons are competitive baseball players.
Wendy is the principal of the Heights High School in Houston. She started teaching at 21, after getting a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Tyler. She has a master’s degree from the University of Houston and became a principal in 2013.
The job’s been challenging especially after Covid. When students came back to school they had to reacclimate to rules and boundaries. Just like adults, teens were more anxious after the pandemic.
Brenda has an undergraduate degree from the University of Houston and a master’s in social work from the University of Colorado. She worked as a social worker for 10 years, but started teaching in 2008. She’s a special education science teacher at Woodcreek Middle School.
Two sons and two careers mean little free time. But still they’ve gotten involved in church.
Wendy is finishing her second year as an elder. And Brenda has been the nurture chair.
“Part of it is to set an example for our boys,” Wendy said. “We wanted them to know you don’t just go. We wanted to find a place to attend and to worship. But we also wanted a community to be involved in.”
Brenda took over as nurture chair just before Covid hit. “My first big thing was in February 2020. Then things shut down. There was a year we didn’t do anything.”
She’ll wind up her time as nurture chair at the end of the year.
“It gives me joy to do things for people,” she said. “It reminds me of how I need to behave and give all the time. Sometimes I’m better at it. Sometimes I’m not so good at it. It reminds me of that.”
Life with 12-year-olds and baseball tournaments gets hectic, so sometimes church attendance hasn’t been as high as they’d like.
But the church and the people in it have become more important to them as they’ve been more involved.
“It helps you get to know more people,” Wendy said. “When you are able to give back or find a place to use whatever gifts God may have given you, you receive a blessing back.”
And involved congregation members are really the key to a church’s growth.
“You see churches that are dying,” Wendy said. “I want to make sure this place continues to thrive. It can’t do that unless people are involved.”
This is one in a series of occasional profiles, written by Susan Bullard, on members of Kingwood Christian Church. Love 101: Do Your Part.