Karen Allingham (formerly Karen Hug) first attended
NABC in 1987 and obtained a CBS (Certificate of Biblical
Studies). She returned to campus and obtained a Masters
Degree in theological studies from the Seminary in 1995.
Karen’s path has been “redirected”
many times since she finished her program at EBS (Edmonton
Baptist Seminary--now Taylor Seminary), but God has
brought her through.
Karen was born and raised in a Christian home in Burlington,
Ontario. She accepted Jesus as her saviour at age 8
and was baptized at age 13. From a young age, Karen
had passion for evangelism and leadership. Being an
extrovert, she became involved in Sunday School, Awana,
choir, outreach & evangelism teams and active in
youth group ministries. Her greatest joy was leading
children into a relationship with the Lord!
After high school, Karen attended North American Baptist
College for one year and obtained a Certificate in Biblical
Studies. She then attended Wilfrid Laurier University,
in Waterloo, ON, and graduated with an Honours Bachelor
of Business Administration. In her last year of university,
she applied to the NAB Missions Conference in Chicago,
IL, to become a volunteer in missions to Japan for a
four-month term. Her “plan” was that this
time would represent her “thank you” to
God, so that afterwards she could embark on her business
The time on the mission field changed Karen’s
heart. She extended her term to 16 months and began
to feel a call to go into full-time ministry. It no
longer seemed fitting to give God a portion of her life
for ministry – she wanted to give Him the rest
of her life. She moved to Edmonton and graduated with
a Master of Theological Studies from Edmonton Baptist
Seminary (EBS). While at EBS, she studied alongside
her “soon-to-be” husband Scott Hug (whom
she met in Japan). They were married in August, 1994,
in their second year of seminary. Scott shared Karen’s
heart for the mission field.
They served for 2 ½ years in the Philippines
as the Evangelism and Discipleship team. Their primary
role was to bring in new people to the church plant
in Naga city through friendship- building activities
in the community. Karen and Scott led prayerful sessions
to bring new vision and purpose for the people in Naga
church, and were involved in training up the leadership
core. In their 18 months working with the Naga church,
the core attendance grew from 7 adults to 65 in regular
attendance. One of their greatest joys was the birth
of their daughter Kayla in February, 1997.
Scott, Karen, and Kayla’s time in the Philippines
was tragically cut short when Scott was diagnosed with
bone cancer. As his cancer progressed, they knew that
thousands were weeping with them. Never before had they
experienced so much compassion from the Christian family.
After Scott passed away in February of 1999, on the
advice of family and friends, Karen took time to be
with Kayla, to enjoy her, and to think about what they
should do next. At that time, Karen did not feel ready
to return to full-time ministry, so she applied her
business training within different development/research
positions in Edmonton.
By July, 2002, Karen felt ready to begin full-time
ministry again. She was inspired by the passion she
saw in her friends’ lives, as they shared what
God was doing in their parishioners’ lives. God
opened up an opportunity for Karen to work full-time
as Director of Christian Education and Youth at McLaurin
Memorial Baptist Church in Edmonton. As soon as she
accepted the position, Karen and Kayla were immediately
embraced by the congregation.
Karen sees these days at McLaurin Baptist as exciting
days! A number of young families have joined the church,
and she appreciates the energy and fresh ideas they
bring. Karen is meeting new people almost every week,
encouraging the volunteers of the CE programs, and leading
hands-on in the youth ministry. Just recently, the church
shared in the joy of Karen’s marriage to Rob Allingham.
Karen is offering her life anew before God with excitement,
renewed energy, awe and trembling knees. She knows that
her life is in Jesus’ hands and that there is
no better place for her.
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