Laurie Houde is a mom on a mission.
The pastor, speaker, author and wife is foremost, a mother who believes in reaching out to other mothers.
Though Houde credits her strong Christian upbringing as key to who she is, it was her call to ministry and her chance to serve as a generational pastor that helped her lead a successful group of women and mothers who have been gathering for more than a decade.
Moms on a Mission, or MOM, works to connect mothers with other mothers for fellowship, Christian study and to provide opportunities for parents to learn to raise children with Christian values and principles.
"We equip parents and train them to raise children with moral standards and purpose," Houde said.
She's been a minister for children's ministry, youth and now generations — working to increase interactions with different age groups in faith.
"Growing up in a Christian home, it wasn't my own conviction," Houde said of going to Bible college in Cleveland, Tenn. "I wouldn't have lived my life with convictions and passions if I hadn't made the choice on my own to give my life to Christ."
She works with the mothers and the women. Houde's husband, Danny, works with men. They share a life together and a life of ministry, each as ministers at New Life Church in Billings. She is also one of 2016's 20 Exceptional Women.
It's her work with MOM that she calls "truly a mission."
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"We work to put God first, honor our husbands if married, train up our children in the nature and admonition of the Lord," she said.
The group meets for two hours, studying, talking, praying. They gather in the community for recreation or service.
"We are nondenominational. We try to parent in a way that says, 'Follow me,'" Houde said. "Sure, there are days when I yell at the kids or have to tell them, 'Yeah, I messed up,' But the point is that we try to live it."
The group has also raised funds for different organizations, include $4,000 for Wise Wonders Children's Museum.
"We're giving back, not just to a church. We're giving back to the community," Houde said.
Alex Tyson, who nominated her and is herself one of the 2016 20 Exceptional Women, said that Houde's ministry is one-on-one and may not be easily summarized on a resume.
"Her achievements and accolades are not of position or prestige in the corporate world, rather they are hidden and unseen in the result of the successful families, mothers, children and teenagers," Tyson said.
But Houde sees her ministry as part of working to bring about a better community and nation.
"If you want to impact a nation, teach the next generation," Houde said. "My four children are watching me, (that) always motivates me. They will turn out like me, whether I like me or not, so at the end of each day, I want to have set an example that they can follow."