CHARLESTON—In her new role as associate director of young adult ministry, Lexie Segrest wants to help the people she will meet build community and grow in their faith. The Alabama native started work on Jan. 4.
Segrest is originally from Montgomery and graduated from Auburn University in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in human development and family studies.
Immediately after graduation, she headed to New York City for a very different education. She spent six months studying for her pastry arts certificate at the International Culinary Center in Manhattan.
Baking has been one of her passions for a long time, and Segrest said the New York program was both intense and a lot of fun. In the distant future, she would like to run a bakery that helps women who have just been released from prison to find jobs, but right now she will focus her talents on this particular ministry.
“I’m still interested in baking but I also learned that serving people is much more important than serving pastries,” she said. “I come from a very devout Catholic family and have always felt called to work for the Church and share the faith that is the most important thing in my life.”
At Auburn, she was deeply involved in campus ministry, served as a retreat leader and camp counselor, and worked with the Fellowship of Catholic University Students. Segrest also worked as the director of interns and volunteers at the East Alabama Birth Village, which offers assistance for pregnant inmates at the Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women.
As she begins her work in the diocese, Segrest wants to learn about ongoing parish young adult programs and get to know the clergy and laity who run them.
Her six months in New York taught her the importance of community. While getting used to a new city Segrest found comfort in being able to attend Mass each week and join young adult discussion groups at her neighborhood church. The challenge of maintaining her Catholic identity in a new place gives her some perspective on the importance of helping her peers do the same.
“It’s a very necessary ministry because young adults are some of our greatest resources,” Segrest said. “We need to build Catholic communities for young adults because it’s a very easy time of life to fall away from the Church if you’re not careful. It’s a very important time in life because you’re venturing out on your own, becoming the adult you want to be and learning how to follow God’s will in your life.”
The Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry at the Diocese of Charleston is directed by Jerry White.