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Meet Mary

Mary Southerland is a dynamic communicator, delivering a powerful message that changes lives. She will make you laugh, cry and walk away thirsting for more. Through warmth, humor, transparency, and solid Biblical teaching, Mary leads women to discover the powerful truth of God’s Word and motivates them to apply it in their daily lives. An international speaker, Mary has spoken to thousands of women across the United States, Latin America, Mexico, New Zealand, India, Thailand, South Africa, and the United Kingdom.


Women identify with Mary, because she has not only survived the road of clinical depression, infertility, adoption, full-time ministry, sexual abuse, childhood trauma, and the daily stress of life, but has learned to thrive in the midst of life’s greatest storms. Through God’s power, Mary has emerged with joy, strength, and victory. She has also worked “in the trenches” with pastor’s wives and women’s ministry leaders through conferences, retreats, and one-on-one mentoring. Her heart’s desire is to encourage women and support leaders by helping:


  • Create a culture of joy to face storms with strength.
  • Turn past failures into future successes.
  • Handle difficult people with compassion.
  • Embrace the pain in their lives and use it for good.
  • Discover and live out God's purpose for living.


Mary’s books include, Hope in the Midst of Depression, Sandpaper People, Escaping the Stress Trap, Experiencing God’s Power in Your Ministry, Trusting God and Knowing God by Name. She has also been a staff writer for Rick Warren’s Tool Box on Pastors.com as well as magazines such as ParentLife and Proverbs 31 Woman and writes a weekly online Bible study with over 5500 women enrolled. She is a regular contributor to Logos’ E-magazine, Faithlife for Women, and Living Better at 50+. Mary is the Co-founder of Girlfriends in God, a conference and devotion ministry for women, working with noted author, Sharon Jaynes and award winning composer, musician, author, and worship leader, Gwen Smith to encourage and equip women for their life journey. Crosswalk.com, the largest Christian website in the world, and Bible Gateway host the daily devotions with over 1,000,000 readers.


One of Mary’s greatest pleasures is serving beside her husband, Dan, who is the Lead Teaching Pastor at Westside Family Church in Lenexa, Kansas and the author of Transitioning: Leading Your Church Through Change. Mary relishes her ministry as a wife, a mother to their two children, Jered and Danna, and Mimi to her five grandchildren, Jaydan, Lelia, Justus, Hudson, and Mo.

Mary Southerland
Mary is also one of the co-founders of Girlfriends in God, a non-denominational conference ministry that crosses generational and racial boundaries to bring the Body of Christ together as believers. Just as God sent Ruth to Naomi and Mary to Elizabeth, God continues to use women to encourage and equip other women in their spiritual journey.

Through daily on-line devotions, conferences, published books, CDs and music videos, God is using this incredible team of women to bring the hope and healing of Jesus Christ to a hurting world.

Mary also offers a weekly online bible study,
Light for the Journey, through which she addresses the relevant and timely issues today's woman faces. Thousands of subscribers agree that this study will change your life.


Kay Warren
“Mary Southerland is a one–of–a–kind woman...extraordinary wife, mom, pastor’s wife, Bible teacher,
author, and friend. Don’t let her tiny stature fool you—she is a powerhouse!

When she speaks or writes about her life, her ministry experiences, and her faith in God, people are moved emotionally, challenged spiritually, and inspired to go out into the world and live passionately for Jesus. I love Mary, and you will, too!"

--Kay War
ren, wife of Rick Warren, pastor, Saddleback Church and author of "Dangerous Surrender."