From beauty salon to church

At first glance, It’s A Piece of Cake by Wilton’s Jennifer Gish may sound like a book of recipes. But when you read the subtitle: “A funny look how God took me on a wild ride,” you would suspect that this book is in a class by itself. It’s not about cupcakes.

Of the many books about romance, courtship, love and marriage, It’s A Piece of Cake is different: It’s a true story about how Jennifer Gish transformed her life while retaining her sense of humor. Jennifer has written an honest exposé about the image of a pastor’s wife and how it changed. Though it reads like a breezy, conversational novel, it’s all true!

The pastor is Dave Gish, the church is Hope Church on Wolfpit Road in Wilton. It all started when Jennifer, a Californian free spirit, agreed to cut her girlfriend’s hair. Jennifer had no experience cutting hair, but she did such a good job that lots of friends not only asked Jennifer to cut their hair, but suggested that she go to a beauty school and build a career as a hair stylist. “I had no idea of ever doing such a thing, but I did it and I loved it.” she says.

She met Dave Gish at a singles Bible study class. “He was shy, sweet and handsome and we both believed that faith in God was the basis of happiness.” The book describes the unusual way that Dave proposed marriage; read it to find out!

They were married seven years when Dave announced that he wanted to be a senior pastor. They moved from California to New Hampshire where Dave was an associate pastor at a 2000-member church. That move inspired Jennifer to open her own beauty salon. “I kept wondering how I could handle being a pastor’s wife. The image of that role didn’t seem like me. Weren’t pastor’s wives subdued, serious and restrained?”

After many incidents that will seem outrageously funny, but very significant, Jennifer decided to write a book about her life. It is optimistic, and in its way, inspirational. The book tells the funny things that kept happening: she was asked if she was actually the pastor’s wife? When the collection basket went around, she was asked if she got a share of the money?

Meanwhile, she was the church’s wedding and funeral consultant. She is the church decorator, she purchases supplies, supervises repairs and listens to problems that affect the lives of church members.

“I’m a mentor for moms, and I do marriage enrichment courses. They told us at beauty school that we’d have to add ‘psychologist’ to our hairdressing skills. That is certainly true! While I kept wondering if I could handle the situation, I just decided to be myself. If God led me to this role, then I’d know what to do. After all, if God can call a wild hairstylist into His service, and transform her into the person He wishes her to be, He can surely accomplish things in ways you never thought possible.”

Jennifer and Dave Gish have been married 30 years and have two grown daughters. They moved to Wilton when Dave was called to revitalize Hope Church, which he has done. “We have members who come from different countries, have different backgrounds and different faiths.We are an inter-denominational church.

It’s A Piece of Cake may be purchased through Amazon or from Tate Publishing, Mustang, Okla.;