Wife. Mother. G. (Grandmother). Mother-in-love. Southern as sweet tea, Pat Layton of Acworth grew up in Savannah, the oldest of four daughters. From a very young age, she dreamed of being her own boss and had high aspirations to achieve ambitious goals. Throughout her uneventful childhood, she always seemed to be reaching for something better, something higher, something she couldn’t grasp.
Pat continued her spiritual search throughout the highs and lows of her 20s — during which she became a single mom and met her current husband, Mike, in college — until, for the first time, she clearly heard the truth of the Gospel and understood what Christ had done for her. She ran to the altar on June 9, 1984, and surrendered her heart to him. Mike accepted that same new life just a few months later. Since then, Pat has been caught up in the power of God’s love and passionately shares her story of his redeeming grace through her various roles in full-time ministry.
Pat grew in her faith, surrounded by strong Christian mentors committed to helping her learn as much as she could about God’s ways. They taught her to love prayer and the word of God and stood by her as walls from her past crumbled, opening a whole new path for her.
A few years into their walk of faith, Pat and Mike felt God calling them to open the first faith-based crisis pregnancy center in Tampa, Florida. While developing the center, they were told about a tiny baby girl who had been released for adoption by her teenage birth mother. The baby was fighting for her life in a local hospital neonatal intensive care unit. Born three months early, she weighed only 1 pound when Mike and Pat first laid eyes on her, and it was love at first sight! Beyond all predictions and expectations, their new daughter thrived and grew, and they finally took her home three months later, weighing 4 pounds and miraculously having no complications or health problems.
Pat often shared their daughter’s story with women who were facing an unplanned pregnancy at the crisis pregnancy center, aptly named A Woman’s Place. From their adoption experience, Pat and Mike expanded the services offered at the center to include a Christian adoption agency in Tampa. For 25 years, Pat focused on these nonprofit ministries, which included an abortion recovery ministry and a national abstinence education program, all while writing and speaking.
In 2015, Pat turned the Tampa ministries over to the board, and in 2018, she and Mike relocated to Acworth to be near their two adult children and three grandchildren. Married 45 years, they enjoy country living on their hobby farm with baby goats, two Great Pyrenees, a small house dog and a parrot. Pat operates her full-time ministry, in which she trains ministry leaders, coaches women to reach for their dreams, writes and records weekly devotional podcasts, out of an adorable she shed, known as “Shed Quarters.”
Pat manages life from her 35-year-old “prayer chair” that sits near a bay window in her bedroom, providing her with views of every season at their beautiful, wooded property. A Georgia peach at heart, she is content to live in northwest Georgia, where she continues to write new books and Bible studies, but she still enjoys traveling and speaking at events across the nation. One of Pat’s favorite ministry activities is hosting a biannual “unique boutique retreat” for women called Rest Quest. Her podcast, “Permission to Pause,” encourages her listeners to take a few minutes during the hustle of life to pause and spend time with God.
Pat has authored six published books in which she shares her story with humor, humility, vulnerability and transparency. Readers of all ages and life stages are drawn to her openness about her disappointments and failures and are inspired by her ability to turn a mess into a mission, a tragedy into a triumph. Teaching tools she’s developed, like the Freedom Flower and A Garden of Personality test, are offered in her books and ministry materials. In her latest work, “Life Unstuck,” Pat guides women toward finding peace with their past, purpose in their present and passion for their future. She bares her soul to encourage others to begin taking any needed steps toward an unstuck past. The book opens with an “Unstuck Manifesto” she wrote, based on Psalm 139.
Christmas 2022, Pat led more than a thousand participants in her “Unstuck Christmas” devotional series Dec. 1-25 on her podcast and via email, Facebook and other platforms.
Pat and Mike are enjoying their new home in what she calls the “Hallmark town” of Acworth, trying out local restaurants, taking long walks in the park and visiting mountain towns. They are happy to be part of a new family of faith at Cedarcrest Church. Pat said after spending their entire married life in Tampa, they’ve been especially blessed to have so many gracious and warm new friends welcome them to Acworth.
Her family is her priority, but the desire of Pat’s heart is to inspire women to step into their calling, their gifting, and trusting God when facing the impossible. Her message of God’s healing power and amazing grace continues to impact countless women.
– Vicki Davis, an Atlanta native, visited her parents’ hometown of Acworth growing up. Her family moved to the area in 1987. Family is her focus; writing is her passion.