Meet Rev. Britta Dukes – A member of the Legacy Community!
for February 24, 2021
A common desire among Legacy Collective donors is leave the world a better place than you found it. For Legacy donor Reverend Britta Dukes, this desire started at an early age.
Growing up in Ironton, Missouri, a small mining town nestled in the foothills of the Ozarks, there was always ample opportunity for adventure. Playing hide and seek, scrambling around the massive granite boulders of Elephant Rocks State Park, and floating the Black River in inner tubes were favorite pastimes. Growing up in a small down afforded Britta the opportunity to try many things: sports, band, student council, and yearbook staff just to name a few.
“The opportunity to be a part of so many different teams and groups is one of the things I prize the most about growing up in a small town,” says Britta. “I never really mastered any of them, but the fond memories more than make up for it!”
Around the age of 10, Britta heard a Peace Corps worker tell her story to their Sunday school class and an interest was sparked. She knew that she wanted to serve marginalized people and make a difference with her life like this woman had. As she transitioned into adulthood, she attended the University of Missouri, and participated in a dual program concentrating on advertising courses in the Journalism school while also pursuing fashion courses in the School of Human Environmental Sciences. But she never forgot the Peace Corps worker and the impact she’d had on her life.
At the age of 25, she had what she calls her QLC: Quarter Life Crisis. “I called my mom and told her I wanted to do something more meaningful with my life. She shared that she and the pastor of my home church had just been talking about reaching out to me with information about a program with the Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA) in which young adults serve overseas for a year or two in various capacities. My interest was definitely piqued, so they sent me the information and I applied immediately.”
Within a year, Britta had sold her car and furniture, packed two suitcases and moved to Peterborough, England, where she volunteered with homeless teens and young adults at a residential hostel called Time Stop. This was the year that transformed her life and the direction of her career. Her experience at Time Stop led to working with an organization called Time For God. There, she interviewed, trained, mentored, visited and debriefed some of the 150 young adults who volunteered each year from all over the U.K., U.S. and Europe.
Upon returning to the States, she continued working with young adults volunteering through the Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) Program of the PCUSA prior to her acceptance into the Master of Divinity program at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Austin, Texas. And today, she is Associate Pastor at Shepherd of the Hills Presbyterian Church in Austin.
She credits her grandmother Gigi as being her biggest influence. “She was a woman who loved God with all her heart, and this love spilled out on everyone around her in the process. And it definitely spilled out on me. She made it clear that she believed in me and my dreams, which ultimately helped me believe, too.”
Britta and her husband Glenn joined Legacy Collective in 2020, drawn to the organization’s quality of partnerships and commitment to systemic and sustainable changes. “I spoke with Legacy CEO Erin Arnheim and she shared the vision, plans and goals for the months and years ahead. It was all so powerfully exciting that we decided we wanted to be part of a community making this kind of impact.”
Causes that are near and dear to Britta’s heart are Manos de Cristo; Presbyterian Children’s Home and Services; Stupid Strong; Multicultural Refugee Coalition & New Leaf Agriculture; UNHCR, Refugee Services of Texas, Equal Justice Initiative, and Hogar Miguel Magone. Of the grants given by Legacy Collective, she was especially excited about the Help One Now empowerment programs in Ethiopia and Peru.
These days, Britta and Glenn are focusing on raising loving, generous, kind-hearted kids who care about the world and leaving it better than they found it. She’s currently enrolled in the Doctor of Ministry program at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, with a concentration in Leadership for Wonder: Re-Enchanting Christian Life.
And as she looks to the days ahead, she says, “I look forward to seeing where God leads me from here!”