Nelia Frazier once waited for 2½ hours in a Starbucks because she felt that God had sent her there for a reason.
Finally, when she saw two teenage boys hugging, she got a funny feeling and watched them for a moment. She noticed a church bus waiting outside and approached the boys — and then used what she calls her "prophetic gifts." She told them things she knew about them and their youth group, she said. They sat down together for a while, and then their youth pastor came in to see what was taking so long.
And that's when Frazier's ministry relationship with the Rev. Jeremiah Smith began.
"I come alongside other ministries to help minister the word of God and help people to discover what gifts they have been given by God, so they can fulfill the call of God that's in their lives," Frazier said.
Dubbed an apostle and a prophet and ordained through nondenominational, Memphis-based Abundant Grace Church in 1992, she helps coach ministers and others to navigate their faith-based paths.
Smith, for example, was the youth pastor at First United Methodist Church in Hudson at the time they met. Frazier helped him gain the confidence and the conviction to open a new church, and the two of them have started the Unveiled Church in Holiday.
"I talk to her and consult with her about pretty much everything," said Smith, 30.
Last summer, they went on a mission trip to Nicaragua with 36 young people.
"He's a dynamic man of God," she said.
Apostle is really not a title, but rather a job description, she said. She said the Christian ministry is five-fold as listed in the book of Ephesians, Chapter 4: apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, teacher. Some, like Frazier, believe that God is restoring the roles of apostle and prophet in the church today.
Frazier grew up in an Episcopalian home but says she's "made a number of changes along the way. We hardly ever get out of our individual labels and boxes."
She became born again in 1979 through the Church of Christ.
"I was just an ordinary person serving wherever I could in the church. I was filled with the Holy Spirit, and I knew there was more, that I was called. It's been an unfolding."
She came to Florida in 1995, a few years after receiving ordination. She's under the "covering" of Archbishop David Jones with Mountaintop International Fellowship out of Tampa, she said. She served as associate pastor there for five years.
"He's the one who recognized I had an apostolic calling," she said.
At the church's annual convention, he had other ministers confirm that she had the calling, she said.
She worked for 10 years assisting brokers in investment banking and real estate loan processing, then as a secretary in a mall. She tried to get her license for trading, but that didn't work out — part of God's plan, she said.
In 2006, she went to east Tennessee and then planned to move to Texas, where her daughter lives. But a chance encounter and a "sign from God'' led her to Hudson, she said. Now she lives in Port Richey.
Her mission hasn't come easy. "The call of God does cost you something," she said. "You surrender all."
She has been married twice and admits she's probably disqualified to serve on several levels. Plus, she quips, "I did come in the wrong container. The call is usually placed on men."
When she first became religious, she said, her first husband gave her an ultimatum: "Choose me or choose God.'' He left. Her second husband did the same thing when she entered the ministry. Now she's been single for 15 years.
"And the walk of God has been phenomenal," she said. "It's just been me and God."
Frazier speaks with a warm, Southern drawl. People seem to connect easily with her, and she puts them at ease.
"I just love people because God loves them. I'm not critical or judgmental. That's not my job. I'm here to draw out the goodness in people and help them find their path."
Sue and Jim Campbell bring Frazier in for their weekly "soakings,' prayer and meditation sessions set to soothing music.
"They are 100 percent the real deal," she said of the Campbells, who run the Prayer House in Port Richey. "The soaking is a rare thing where you can just sit and allow the atmosphere of heaven to just come through. God has a way of talking to every heart at the same time if people will just let him."
She attends each week but said she doesn't interfere. She said she speaks to people afterward and seems to know things about them, giving gentle advice.
"I just come alongside and help where I can."
She helps "put order and structure into existing bodies or create new ones in a community," she said. "Most of what I have to do is divinely connected."
She meets people through word of mouth or sees them and feels a connection.
"I don't ever advertise. I just trust God will lead me where I need to go."