Article by Denee Menghini. Media by James Menk.
Standing on the stage in the Recital Hall at Whitlock Music Center is a comfortable spot for Kelly Rae Romoser. From that spot a week ago she delivered a message in Vespers on the generosity of a servant. Two years ago, as a senior, Kelly’s now husband proposed in that spot. For three years as a student at Greenville College, Kelly stood in that spot and led worship in chapel and Vespers countless times. It seems as though Kelly Rae’s return to Greenville last week completed a bit of a journey. A journey in which she graduated, got married, moved away, and started life beyond the bachelors. Kelly came to Greenville in 2009 as a transfer student, after spending a year at Minnesota State Colleges. Familiar with Greenville from spending summers working at Durley Youth Camp just outside of town, the move felt very natural. In her time here she was involved in Vespers, GC Choir, and was a part of the first Pursuit summer tour. Kelly graduated from Greenville College in May of 2012 with a degree in Music Education.
While at Greenville, Kelly met the love of her life and now husband Caleb Romoser. The two dated while at Greenville, and after Kelly completed her senior vocal recital Caleb proposed. The couple was married in December 2012 at Newsong Fellowship in Edwardsville, where Caleb’s father is the lead pastor. After their wedding, Caleb and Kelly moved to Minnesota where Caleb had a teaching job. During this time, Kelly worked in retail, enjoyed the community, and fought the snow. The coupled lived there for about six months before the opportunity arose for them to return to the Greenville area near both of their families.
Now, Caleb is teaching Spanish in Edwardsville and Kelly serves as the manager of Plowsharing Crafts. Plowsharing Crafts’ Edwardsville location opened this summer and is the third location the organization has opened in the Metro-East. The store sells clothing, crafts, jewelry, paper products, and musical instruments, all of which are certified fair trade. This means every product sold by Plowsharing has been purchased from producers at a fair price. Plowsharing stores began in 1985 as a missionary project of the St. Louis Mennonite Fellowship. Students who have attended a Greenville College COR 102 trip should be familiar with the original Plowsharing store located on the Delmar Loop. This store provided Kelly’s first exposure to Plowsharing as well, and she and Caleb would visit often while in school.
The store presents Kelly with the unique opportunity to do serve people on an international scale while also serving her local community. Items sold at Plowsharing are made by artisans all around the world who received payment for their goods regardless of whether or not they are sold in stores. At the Edwardsville store Kelly is the only paid employee and the rest of the store is run by volunteers from the community. It has only been a little over a year since Kelly graduated, but she has filled that time with many learning experiences. Last week, as she returned to the familiar ground of Greenville’s campus she experienced a first. Up until that day Kelly had never preached in front of a large group.