Nicola M. Hurst
Nicola Maria Hurst encapsulates a very unique and diverse background of ministry, music, military, social service, teaching, and counseling experience.
She discovered her musical gifts in her early developmental years and began playing classical flute in many gifted and talented programs. She earned numerous awards in all city and all state competitions. She studied classical and jazz at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts under the tutelage of the infamous Ellis Marsalis. Her skills allowed her to play with some of New Orleans greats such as Kid Jordan and Pete Fountain at the 1984 World’s Fair.
Nicola’s ministerial reach spans across three decades, as she was ordained as a missionary at 16 years old. Her early 20s were dedicated to the ministry of teen mothers. She also evangelized to the homeless population, gang members and the lost and (runaway) street children with an outreach street ministry during her late 20s and early 30s.
She was ordained an Elder at The Potter's House church in Dallas Texas under the leadership of Bishop T. D. Jakes in 1998, and, at that time, she was considered one of the youngest Elders in the church. Her ministerial outreach, however, has always been unconventional and outside of the walls of the church. Her name preceded her and she was offered the position of youth minister for Young Life, an international nondenominational ministry for youth. She was given a charge of developing a ministry from inception to fulfillment in the southern sector of the Dallas, Texas metropolis, which included three cities: Duncanville, Desoto, and Cedar Hill. Serving as Area Developer and Area Director, she single-handedly developed one of the largest urban youth ministries in the nation for Young Life, serving the needs of thousands of youth on a weekly basis with an all-volunteer staff.
As a 12-year veteran of the United States Air Force, Nicola was chosen Airmen of the Year in 1991 for Barksdale AFB, LA. Representing the 917th Fighter Squadron at the 1998 Tuskegee Airmen Convention in Washington D.C., she had the opportunity to work with some of her heroes—the real Red Tails. Her accomplishments include being awarded the Meritorious Service Medal for outstanding service in Operation Deny Flight (Bosnia.)
Her most recent work as a veteran has been that of a spokesperson and liaison, passionately speaking out of on behalf of veterans who struggle with the invisible disability of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), to churches, universities medical professionals and those who seek to serve this population.
Her educational background includes a B.A in Sociology and Psychology with a minor in Music from Paul Quinn College. She completed her graduate studies at Fuller Theological Seminary with a Masters in Theology and an emphasis in Recovery Counseling. Her teaching experience includes teaching in the Dallas Public School System for the Alternative Education Program, as adjunct faculty for El Centro College in Dallas Texas, teaching basic computer skills to inmates at Lew Sterrett jail facility, as well as, teaching Psychology as the first foreign professor of the Liaocheng University School of Political Science and Administration in Liaocheng, China.
Though the scope of her life’s work has been broad her mission can be narrowed to three main interest: A deep passion to serve humanity; a dedication to helping the next generation live their divine purpose in life; and a passion to help African people of the diaspora heal from the pain and trauma of oppression. She is currently working on a book to help communicate the tools of the 12-step programs to her people in a way that they can receive them.
A New Orleans native, Nicola Hurst now resides in Houston, Texas.