Lesaya Kelly has been in pastoral ministry for 35 years. She has served in her homeland, South Africa, traveled worldwide with Youth With a Mission, before then settling and becoming a US citizen. When she met her husband Chris, she relocated to Long Island, New York, where they have raised their beautiful daughter Savanna. Lesaya counts it as one of life’s rare privileges to share joy in the journey with both of them.
Pastoral ministry is not a vocation to Lesaya. It is the inevitable outcome of her relationship with the Lord, and His call and gifting upon her life. She is passionate about nurturing people in their journey of faith. Lesaya says, "A simple prayer I prayed years ago has become a lifetime vow for me – anything, anytime, anyplace. Wherever the opportunity is and whatever God asks of me, with all my heart I will do it. That’s hard to live by oftentimes, but for the most part it is the most rewarding, the most fulfilling.”
Lesaya has a MA in Theology, Leadership and Communications from the University of Liverpool in the United Kingdom (Summa Cum Laude), and a BA in Social Sciences from Nelson Mandela University in South Africa. She is lead pastor at Crossover Christian Church, which she planted in 2010. Lesaya has co-led and pastored a church plant in South Africa from 1990-2000. She has also served as pastor of small group ministries, as the supervising pastor of Celebrate Recovery, a Christ-centered 12 step program, and has led short term missions to Eastern Europe, South Africa, Indonesia and the Philippines. Lesaya was also a bible school lecturer for four years, and supervised the national launch of Women of Vision, South Africa, a Christian women’s organization.
She offers themed spiritual growth retreats for women in the US and South Africa. These retreats can be large group, small group customized, or one-on-one personal retreats. Each is designed to bring transformational moments of personal growth.
Crossover Christian Church was established in Mt. Sinai in April 2010. A dozen or so friends joined together with a united vision and the desire to minister God’s love to Mt. Sinai, a community that consists of more than 12,000 families. While many church plants are resourced with denominational support and funding, Crossover was launched in the spirit of church planting seen in the book of Acts. Seeded with simplicity and faith, it continues to grow and thrive because of God’s goodness, and the goodwill of people joining in the journey of faith.
The community Crossover is reaching are people with stories, faces and names, who need to be touched by God’s love for them. The congregation is hungry to be the hands, the feet and the face of love that Jesus is to this community. Crossover is just one of God’s puzzle pieces to touch their lives.
People ask about the origin of the name of our church. The word “crossover” occurs over 40 times in the Bible. Most notably when Joshua and the Israelites crossed over into the promised land of Israel. That story is symbolic of us as Christ followers stepping into the fulness of what God has for us as a church.
We are passionate in our love for God, and allow His love to form and shape who we are, and how we relate to others. We help people find faith as a way of life. The keyword to who we are is “practice” — we learn to live out our faith, and help others to experience faith as a way of life.