Lauren Kincaid was walking King Street in the heart of downtown Charleston, SC in 2006 when the vision for a young adults ministry was born. As Lauren wandered the charming streets of the city, she began praying for the next generation of college students and young adults. She knew firsthand that so many young adults struggle with a variety of societal pressures, mental health battles, addictions, loneliness, suicidal ideation, and so much more. In her heart, she felt that a spirit of lostness had fallen over the young adults of today’s generation. In that moment, she had a Holy Spirit encounter that changed her life. The Lord began to show her his heart for the next generation and their great need for truth, purpose, faith, hope, real love, lasting joy, and ultimately, their great need for Jesus. As she began praying into His vision, she began to realize God was calling her to minister to 18-30 year-olds.
In 2007, Lauren and her husband, Steve, while still living in Atlanta, bought a home in Charleston as a first step of obedience in pursuing the calling of ministry. Not long after they purchased the house, she decided to take a walk on the beach (one of her favorite pastimes). Not surprisingly, as Lauren walked, she prayed, asking the Lord to show her how to reach the young adults of Charleston. She soon came across a nest full of sea turtle eggs surrounded by a group of Island Sea Turtle Rescue Team members. She learned when a baby sea turtle hatches, it follows the light of the moon or sun to safely get to the ocean. However, often man-made lights compete with the natural light in the sky, confusing the baby turtles on the journey to find their forever home in the sea.
That night, Lauren returned to the beach and was able to watch the turtles hatch. As the turtles wandered the beach in confusion, searching for a light to follow, Lauren realized that God was showing her that the young adults of today (and really, all of us) are just like sea turtles. Jesus is the light of the world, but the world we live in is full of distractions and “other lights” vying for our attention and affection. We look in many directions seeking what will bring answers and provide fullness of life and purpose. Unfortunately, when we put our hope and faith in anything except Jesus, we are left unfulfilled, hurting, and broken. Sea Turtle Ministries was officially founded in 2009, because “people are turtles too.”
The mission of Sea Turtle Ministries is to help young adults find and follow Jesus, grow in faith and friendship, and thrive in life. 13 years later, Sea Turtle Ministries has reached hundreds of young adults desperate for Jesus and continues to follow the call of reaching and impacting the next generation with faith, hope, and love.
Founder of Sea Turtle Ministries