Prostitute to Pastor
As a young girl growing up in small-town Indiana, Amy J. Miranda dreamed of being a preacher. But her stepfather told her women could not be preachers. As a result, Miranda, who never knew her biological father, began to question her identity in church and her role there.
In her teenage years, Miranda rejected Christ, which left a void in her life. After graduating from high school, Miranda gave up a music scholarship to travel through Colorado, Florida, New York, and Canada trying partying, drugs, and a succession of men to numb the emptiness she felt. The lure of cocaine, LSD, and crank methamphetamine required money. Using her music and dancing skills, she began dancing at bachelor parties. An older woman took her in and taught her the prostitution trade. For the next five years, Miranda sold her body in exchange for cash.
“I justified my actions feeling that regardless of whatever else I did not have, I still had money,” says Miranda, now 50.
During this time, her grandmother June Duncan moved to California and began attending Century Assembly in Lodi. Duncan asked her weekly women’s ministry group to pray for her granddaughter. At age 23, a pregnant Miranda — believing her baby needed more than she could offer — decided to move to California to be with her grandmother. Duncan invited her to church.
Century Assembly in Lodi had an active choir. Miranda’s love for music led her to ask the pastor’s wife, Edwina Duncan (no relation to June) if she could join the choir, despite her recent wayward lifestyle. Edwina gave Amy a robe and welcomed her into the choir. On her first Sunday singing in the choir, Miranda says she had an encounter with God through music. She felt God telling her, Amy, I died for the broken. You can be made whole. After that Sunday, Miranda never looked back.
She soon married David Miranda, the plant manager for Century Assembly. Her vocational rehabilitation began when she served as a teacher’s aide at a local Christian school. In the next 14 years, she worked as an elementary schoolteacher and ultimately the principal of the school. Edwina’s husband, Harold Duncan, eventually invited Miranda to become the associate pastor at Century Assembly. After taking classes from Global University, Miranda received her license as an Assemblies of God minister. David encouraged Amy to share her story publicly, believing many would be encouraged by her transformation.
In 2017, a Lodi police officer heard Miranda share her testimony. This led to an invitation to work with the police department and in February 2018, Miranda became a police chaplain.
With the encouragement of her husband and church, Miranda resigned her position at Century Assembly in January 2019 to launch full time into Amy Miranda Ministries. God has opened doors for her to minister to teen girls, women’s groups, and in Sunday services. She also has written the book Prostitute to Pastor: From the Spotlight to God’s Light.
Miranda now lives in Galt, California, and attends Real Life Church with David, her husband of 27 years and their two adult children, Katrina and Gabriel. David adopted Katrina when she was 6 months old.
At Real Life Church, pastor James J. Seiler encouraged her ministry efforts.
“Amy has the heart of an evangelist and does a phenomenal job of communicating the gospel story to both men and women who have a painful past,” says Seiler, who recently relocated to Tennessee for a new ministry. “She has one of the most impactful testimonies of God’s power to transform a life that I have ever heard. She brings the hope to others that guilt does not need to define their lives.”