A couple of weeks ago I had the privilege of celebrating the life of one of LifeWay’s most beloved trainers, Karen Alexander-Doyel. As I heard from family members and friends about this incredible woman, I was reminded of how the Lord calls every woman to plant the seeds of the gospel into the lives of others. Whether it’s in a formal mentoring relationship, through one of LifeWay’s training events where you hear from gifted teachers, or you learn from their example from a distance, every life has incredible value and influence. Karen was no different.
As one of the first LifeWay trainers, Karen traveled to numerous events over the course of many years. She was known for her kindness, her love for Scripture, and her enthusiasm for spending time with Jesus. Her courageous battle with cancer for several years was marked as valiant and fierce. God allowed Karen to experience the births of grandchildren and ministering until she could no longer do it. She definitely was an example of a “drink offering” being poured out for ministry so that others could hear from God’s Word.
Because Karen was known and loved by so many, I felt it would be best to have other trainers share some of their own thoughts. If you would like to read the letter she wrote to her three sons that was read by Chris Adams at the celebration service, I encourage you to read Chris’s blog at https://chrisadams.blog/2019/09/16/karens-legacy/
Jennifer Landrith Oliver: I met Karen at LifeWay when Chris asked me to come be a LifeWay Ministry Multiplier (LMM) for ministers’ wives. There was only me, Karen, and Becky Badry who were paired up to be in this area for many years. We would be with the big group but break off to explore and brainstorm together about how to meet the needs of ministers’ wives. I treasured my times with Karen because she was so wise, and I looked forward to our meetings. It felt like there was a common bond when we were together. Little did I know that I would find myself a widow after my preacher/husband died just as Karen had been. She had been an example to me before I would unknowingly face a similar journey. She taught me how to walk before I knew the steps I’d have to take. God prepared me by knowing her. I always left our times wanting to be with her more. She was a godly lady, and she was also fun and loved to laugh, which is a great combination. Just to be in her presence challenged you to want to love Jesus more. I will always treasure our last LMM retreat last spring as she led a devotion one night, and in “Karen style” she went around and told us each individually how we had blessed her life. She was so weak and still showering out blessings and encouragement—such a testimony, such a legacy! She continued to be a blessing to so many when in so much pain. She kept the faith and ran the race and finished well. She will be missed greatly, but I’m thrilled for her to be in Jesus’ presence with no more suffering.
Dawn Stephens: Karen Alexander-Doyel was one of the most selfless and “other” minded people I have been blessed to know. I’ve known Karen since 2002, serving together on the Lifeway Women’s trainer team.
She courageously raised three sons after her first husband was tragically killed, fought cancer two times, and cared for her mother and grandchildren, all while faithfully teaching women all across this country.
She loved consistently and faithfully all the people in her life, and when you left her presence, you knew you had been genuinely loved. Karen, well done, His good and faithful servant.
Debbie Stuart: I will never forget the first day I met Karen Alexander-Doyel! The impression she made on my life in one day and MANY days thereafter was nothing less than Divinely profound! We met at a LifeWay Women’s Ministry Trainer event. There was a unique peace and stability about her; she had unusual joy. I thought, “Things must be great in her life.” But I soon learned, things were not great in her life; “things” had actually shattered her life. She was fighting battles on several fronts, including the unexpected loss of her husband.
I was very drawn to her courage, spiritual tenacity, and passion for honoring the Lord in every detail of her life and every tear she shed. I had experienced a smaller heartbreak, but I felt I was losing the battle and the pain of broken dreams had threatened to take me down, leadership and all.
I asked her A LOT of questions that day and many days thereafter. She opened her life and shared what she had learned from the Lord. She built into my life spiritual lessons, and it changed me. It changed the way I looked at hardship, suffering, and spiritual battles.
She made a significant spiritual investment in my life. I hope to pay it forward to other women.
Kaye Hurta: Karen/Jesus; Jesus/Karen. No one lived to reflect the heart of the Father more passionately than sweet Karen. The invitation to suffering was answered with grace and courage. This woman prayed for me and my family; she modeled that so well for me!
Margaret Kennedy: Karen’s calmness was always evident on her face and in her walk and through her words! I recognized it the first time I met her, and I knew it was an outflow of her godly peace! People were drawn to her like a magnet, wanting to pursue this for themselves. And she never missed an opportunity to share the source of it: her intimacy she shared with her Lord, Savior, and Sustainer—our Lord Jesus Christ!
Becky Badry: It is so hard for me to put into words the friendship Karen and I shared, so I will just briefly share some our experiences. We walked through some very personal, private, painful experiences together that the LifeWay Ministry Multipliers don’t even know about. In the midst of some very dark days, we exchanged texts during the middle of the night. She paid her own way and gave of her weekend to meet me in Dallas to encourage me through a very difficult time. Some of my most precious memories are when she came to Colorado and spoke at my ministers’ wives events. Between the two weekend events, she stayed at our house. Because we were the two main ministers’ wives LMMs at that time, we worked together to write all the conferences and shared a deep love for the Word and teaching the Word. When we met, our souls instantly bonded. Karen was like a sister to me, who tirelessly prayed for me, loved me, and encouraged me. I miss her deeply.