Portia Nartey, a native of Ghana, is a member of Third Baptist and a graduate student at Washington University. Portia is in a dual degree program studying for a Master of Social Work and a Master of Social Policy. Portia is the oldest of four children in her family. She is a second-generation college and graduate student and the first in her family to travel outside of Ghana to the United States.

Growing up, Portia believed that education was the key to having a better life. After graduating from college, she searched for institutions at which to continue her education. She discovered that some of the best institutions were in the United States and one of the top universities is Washington University here in St. Louis. Primarily, she came to the US to study, but she also came to work and to build experience before returning to Ghana to practice social work.

Portia says that she came to Third “at the invitation of the Holy Spirit.” Portia became interested in Third as a resident of the University Plaza Apartments on North Grand. While her roommates encouraged Portia to attend a Ghanaian church with them, Portia felt led by the Holy Spirit to attend Third. Even though Third was outside of her comfort zone, Portia has never regretted coming to Third. She has enjoyed the music, the sermons, and the sense of community. She said that she has met many wonderful people at Third. “Third takes an interest in my life,” she continued. She wondered what her life in the US would be like without her church family. “People have been so kind. I am happy that I obeyed the instruction of the Holy Spirit,” she said.

After graduating from Washington University in 2022, Portia plans to pursue a PhD. She encourages other international students to be willing to “leave their comfort zone, be opened mind and be accepting.”