EDINBORO, Pennsylvania (BRN) — For the past 12 weeks, listeners have tuned in to Baptist Resource Network’s “50 Stories of Transformation” podcast, which seeks to highlight the many ways God has transformed churches and individuals across Pennsylvania and South Jersey over the past 50 years.

But who is the voice leading this podcast?

Macala Leigey (center) and friends
Macala Leigey (center) and friends

Macala Leigey is a graduate student at Edinboro University, where she is in her last semester toward obtaining her master’s degree in communications and where she graduated with an undergraduate degree in journalism and public relations.

From a young age, Leigey always loved writing and felt drawn to communications where “it was [her] safe place to kind of express [herself],” she said.

A pastor’s daughter, she often wrote out her prayers to God, which fueled her desire to write more. So, in high school, she got involved with her high school newspaper.

But then she discovered radio.

“When I was 16, I had the opportunity to work in radio. I fell in love with radio. I love radio! I will always say it’s the best media,” she exclaimed, explaining she loved the music and “learning how to use [her] voice instead of just writing.”

Later, in college, Leigey got involved in Edinboro University’s radio station, which eventually led to her having a graduate assistantship working with the station.

She has a passion for the work, she said, explaining, “I think as I’ve gotten older, especially now through grad school and just growing in my faith, I’ve understood or understand now that’s how [God] made me.”

She often thanks God for the spiritual and natural gifts He has given her to be able to relate to people and to communicate through a variety of ways.

It’s “just an awesome field” because there are so many opportunities, she said, noting how God made her as someone who likes variety. “With communications, … I could be broadcasting. I could be podcasting. I could be writing. I can be doing public relations or graphic design. There’s just a multitude of things that can be done.”

When Leigey was about 21, she worked at a corporate media television site, which she says was “a great experience.” But she knew something was lacking.

Up to that point, she had grown up in church and had known who Jesus was, but at times, felt it was “mechanical” and “going through the motions.”

She knew she needed to go to Jesus, not just during the trials, but during the victories and challenges. But several relationship challenges and other issues made Him seem so far away from her. She knew she needed to surrender.

She remembered thinking, “I don’t really know what’s going on in my life. I’m not very happy. There are things I don’t understand but I’m NOT letting go of Jesus. Like I’m clinging! He is the one thing I’m not letting go.”

She found a sacred space, under a sycamore tree, where she met with God and where He revealed passages from Romans that spoke gently to her heart. Over time, after kneeling and surrendering and asking God to please help her, Leigey experienced a new thirst for scripture and a greater eruption in her desire to know Him and His Word more.

Robbie Mays and Macala Leigey
Robbie Mays and Macala Leigey

She noticed her hunger deepening at Edinboro Community Church, a church plant led by Pastor Brad Wingler where she became a member. She loves Wingler’s teaching style and the way the church welcomed her into their community.

The newfound hunger has opened up doors for her to serve in communications AND ministry, including the weekly series she produces for the Baptist Resource Network.

A few years ago, a fellow volunteer/vendor at the Creation Festival she served gave her a plaque, which featured Psalm 96:3, “Publish His glorious deeds among the nations. Tell everyone about the amazing things he does.”

Marveling at how God has moved in her life, Leigey hung up the plaque in her room, often remembering the man’s encouragement to her as a journalist: “I hope this encourages you to go and publish His works.”

She wondered how she would do just that. Just the other day, she looked at the plaque and had an epiphany. “Oh my gosh. I’m doing that now … with the podcast and writing the articles and so it’s just been awesome!”

Listen to the podcast interview:

The “50 Stories of Transformation” series, told in honor of the Baptist Resource Network’s 50th anniversary, highlights the many ways God has moved throughout Pennsylvania, South Jersey and beyond. Your generous support of the Cooperative Program makes this ministry possible and fuels evangelism and outreach in our local churches and all over the world! Thank you!