Mama Bean’s gospel Explosion: 28 years of service in Campus Ministry 

Britney Botez

Mama Beans’ retirement celebration, Whitworth University in Spokane Wash., Saturday, April 19. 2024 | Photo by Juan Rodriguez

Stephy Nobles-Beans, affectionately called “Mama Beans,” celebrated the end of her role as associate chaplain of equity, diversity and inclusion with a Gospel Explosion in the Seeley G. Mudd Chapel at Whitworth University on April 11. This night of singing, dance and praise with local Spokane choirs, spiritual leaders and Jubilation dancers echoed Beans’ hope for Gospel Explosion, a campus tradition she began 25 years ago. “When I started this, I just knew that I loved the Lord and wanted to praise him and for people to know how much my community means to me,” said Beans.  

At the opening of the Gospel Explosion, Trisha Coder, associate director of media relations, presented Beans with the Sister Peter Claver Humanitarian Award, an award honoring those with a heart for dedicated service to both people and God, all with a sense of humor.

Throughout the event, members of Whitworth and the surrounding Spokane community reflected on how Beans had impacted them personally. “God has used Stephy in this community to show that it’s okay to uplift Jesus in different ways, and things are different now than they were before Stephy arrived 30 years ago,” said Dr. Forrest Buckner, dean of spiritual life.

“It was fantastic to see the whole community get together; […] to see so many churches band around Beans and see the impact she has had on this community,” said Seth Miller, a Spanish major at Whitworth.

“I’m not really retiring, I’m relaunching. I am most looking forward to working with my daughter in her Shades of Motherhood network, which I am the chaplain doula for,” said Beans. Beans is also a national speaker and founder of Mama Beans on Holy Grounds, two projects of which she is looking forward to further investing herself in during retirement.  

Beans also expressed her wishes and hopes for future campus ministry, hoping “that the person who takes this position will be just as excited about diversity, equity and inclusion and that they would have the heart to mentor and level with all of my students,” said Beans. “Most of all, I hope they will have a love of sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ in a way that doesn’t offend anyone, to show that the gospel of Jesus Christ is for everyone.” 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *