Lauren is serving with the Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA) in Kenya. She began this call in 2017 when the PCEA leadership invited her to serve as a lecturer at the Presbyterian University of East Africa where the PCEA trains their pastors and evangelists. During the same period, she was invited to come alongside the PCEA Mission Department in ministries of compassion, empowerment, and evangelism. She has been particularly involved in outreach to pastoralist communities, providing mentorship, administrative leadership, and program development for ministries with vulnerable women and girls
In early 2019, the PCEA leadership asked her to consider accepting a new position as the Deputy Director of Mission for the denomination and she officially began this role in June 2019. She is now serving alongside the Director of Mission in the PCEA Mission Department. They have responsibility for all PCEA mission schools and rescue centers, water projects, evangelism and evangelist training, church-planting, and global partnerships with churches and other institutions. Lauren has loved helping to coordinate their partnerships, connecting visiting groups to the work of the Holy Spirit in Kenya, and becoming more deeply connected to God’s work of healing and new life through water and education.
Lauren was born and raised in Darlington, South Carolina with three sisters who she adores. She was baptized in Darlington Presbyterian Church, and learned from an early age that mission is at the very center of God’s heart. She attended Washington and Lee University expecting to move onto medical school after college, but summers spent in mission service and youth ministry helped her hear God’s call in a different direction. After college, she joined the PCUSA’s YAV program and served as a teacher in rural Kenya. She fell in love with the PCEA, with the vibrancy of the African church and with the warmth of the people and culture. Upon returning from the YAV program, she attended Columbia Theological Seminary and graduated with a Masters of Divinity in 2011. During seminary, she had the opportunity to witness the Holy Spirit at work in many different ministries: through community with those who are homeless in Atlanta, as a year-long student intern with the PCEA in Nairobi, through pastoral internships at First Presbyterian Church in Hartsville, SC and Roswell Presbyterian Church near Atlanta. She was ordained as a Minister of Word and Sacrament in 2012 and spent 5 years serving as an associate pastor in the Presbyterian Church of Upper Montclair in Montclair, NJ.
To donate by check to Lauren's Support:
Make checks payable to The Antioch Partners, write “Preference for Scharstein Support”on memo line and mail to:
7132 Portland Ave., Suite 136
Richfield, MN, 55423