Former atheist bartender shares journey to becoming a pastor's wife

A former "atheist, feminist bartender" from Knoxville, Tennessee became a Christian and unexpectedly the wife of a First Baptist Church pastor in Trenton in a story that reflects God's apparent sense of humor.

(REUTERS / John Adkisson)Pastor Mark Harris of First Baptist Church gives his sermon during the fifth and largest 'Pulpit Freedom Sunday' in Charlotte, North Carolina October 7, 2012.

During the Tennessee Baptist Convention's The Good Cup event for pastors' wives in November, Tiffany Bowen shared her unlikely journey from an atheist to a minister's wife. She was a university student working at a restaurant when her co-worker Jason asked her out, the Baptist Press details.

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Tiffany only agreed to date Jason after he had asked her out three times, and the date was supposed to last for only an hour. However, their time together stretched because she found him to be "transparent and genuine." The following day, she told her stepmother that she had already found her future husband.

Sometime later, Tiffany met Jason's mother, Charlotte Bowen, who is a missionary nurse working with the Southern Baptist International Mission Board. She was surprised that Charlotte did not judge her for being an atheist but instead showed her love, and this paved the way for a blossoming friendship between the two even after Jason's mother went back to Africa for her missions.

"I may have heard the same words from other people, but I never understood that Jesus was alive until I met someone like [my mother-in-law]. He was obviously alive in her," said Tiffany, according to Baptist Press.

Then, Tiffany started studying the Bible and she felt that her "heart started to change." She eventually accepted Jesus Christ as her Savior, and they later got married in Africa while visiting Charlotte. After the wedding, they lived in Arkansas where they continued to grow spiritually as they attended the Central Baptist Church.

At one point, God told Tiffany to pray for her husband because he was going to yield to His call to become a pastor. At that time, she admitted she was not "pastor's wife material" --- and recently admitted she still is not --- but God still uses her in the ministry. For her, God's grace and their transparency about their past helped cultivate their work in the church.

Like Tiffany Bowen, award-winning investigative journalist Lee Strobel also used to be an atheist. When his wife became a Christian, he became bent on disproving God's existenceb but ended up being converted as well, the Gospel Herald reports.

At present, Strobel is one of the top Christian apologists in the world. He has also penned the award-winning book "The Case for Christ," which chronicles his journey to Christianity and is set to come to life on the wide screen on April 7.

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