Carrie Rester has lived most of her life on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. After graduating from Ocean Springs High School, she attended the University of Mississippi (where her heart still is). After making the decision to be an educator, she transferred to the University of Southern Mississippi where she received her BS in Elementary Education and later received her Masters in Education from William Carey University.
She taught in the Moss Point and Biloxi School systems for 6 years. In 1997, she accepted a position to be Technology Trainer for the Gulf Coast Educational Consortium. This was an opportunity to connect with the Gulf Coast schools and train teachers how to incorporate technology into their daily curriculum. After Hurricane Katrina washed away the offices at USM, she decided it was time to “retire.”
God had another direction for Carrie, in 2007 He encouraged her to begin a Bible study. So with a few girlfriends around a dining room table once a week, they had Bible study. Soon into their gatherings, Carrie recognized that God was calling them to “live” what they were learning in Bible Study. Quickly they were blessed with opportunities to be His hands and feet in the community and serve those in need—this original small group grew into a coast wide women’s ministry, which is now a 501c3 organization. After nine years, Carrie continues to be the leader and president.
As of today, there have been 450 women who have participated in Gulf Coast Blessings. These women range from 25 to 85, representing various Christian denominations from across the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Comprised of career women, homemakers, students, moms, single and married women.
Carrie has led small and large groups of women in volunteering for many organizations. She leads a women’s Bible study twice every Monday, for well over 100 women. She has either organized or led programs for multiple organizations such as Home of Grace, Salvation Army, Community Care Network, Gulf Coast Ministries, Women’s Resource Center, Homeless Ministry fro Men and Women and Good News Prison Ministry. Because of her active involvement in community service,she recently received the Good Deeds Award from the Gulfport Exchange Club.
Presently, Carrie and her husband John live in Gulfport, MS. She is blessed to have a step daughter, Brittany who is married to Mike Chowske. They double blessed them with a beautiful grand daughter, Delaney.
In her free time, she enjoys playing tennis, working in the yard, reading, studying the bible, and being at the beach!