If she could deliver for the U.S. Postal Service, Nichelle Landry figures she can do the same for God.
"Their motto is rain, sleet or snow," said Landry, who worked for the USPS for 15 years before moving into full-time ministry about nine years ago. "This is my philosophy: If I did it for the post office, I should do it for God."
Landry, 48, is pastor of Victory International Ministries of Baton Rouge. She also hosts television and radio broadcasts and is actively involved in community outreach projects.
Meeting people on a daily basis as a letter carrier and other lessons from the Postal Service helped Landry prepare for her ministry.
"You have a sense of integrity. You couldn't just call in (to miss work) because you didn't feel like it," she said of her postal position. "The weather could not be a factor in whether you did your job or not, because you knew that you had a job to do. So that was paramount for me in what I do right now."
Landry said encountering, encouraging and loving people started during her time at the post office.
"I just switched from one employer to another. I think the work just continued," she said.
But Landry's work for the Lord may very well have longer hours, even calling for midnight duty.
Landry hosts the popular "Midnight Cry" on Facebook Live. She welcomes viewers for prayer and words of encouragement from midnight to 1 a.m. Monday through Thursday.
"A majority of the time I just log in and encourage people to glorify God, and I thank him for this new day. And that would usually break out into some type of encouragement, some type of scripture reference," Landry said. "We just go from there — whatever the Lord drops on us at that moment."
Landry said she receives 300-500 views or comments a night. There's a core group of 40-50 people — she calls them the Midnight Cry Crew — who actually help support the local ministry and service projects.
"We have become like a force to be reckoned with," she said. "This particular crew gets it done. They are always ready and able to share the word of God, to support the vision and I think that's a blessing. ... They are phenomenal. They press me to continue to do what I do."
What Landry has the heart to do each day is continue reaching people for Christ.
"I really want to be able to bless and cause one person to be saved," she said. "That's my goal everyday: If one person can come into my life, and I can make their lives better."
Landry was raised in the church, but it wasn't until she was a young adult that she was called into ministry after a most unusual encounter.
She had been attending church but wasn't serving in the church, a fact a radio minister painfully pointed out.
"That kind of struck me," she said. "That particular day and driving down Florida Boulevard, I rededicated my life to the Lord. I was full of zeal. I was super excited. I felt different, and I knew that God had done something in my life."
At her church, Landry started teaching Sunday school and youth Bible study.
She broke up with her longtime boyfriend because she wanted to "stop living in sin." The boyfriend countered with a proposal two weeks later — and Nichelle and Michael Landry have since been married 23 years.
"We are one," she said. "I believe the word of God; it says the two shall become one flesh."
Her husband is an integral part of what Landry does in the ministry and beyond.
"He is my No. 1 intercessor," she said. "He is my No. 1 supporter, my No. 1 charitable giver. He trusts the God in me. He sees my prayer life. He knows the reality of my heart. His love for the Lord, his devotion, his prayer life, the things that I see I know that God has put us together — a Aquila and Priscilla team — to do the work."
Landry's work and busy schedule continues — in and out of the church.
In addition to being a caregiver for her ailing mother and responsibilities with the church, Landry helps leads prayer walks and community cleanup efforts.
She is also a key leader of the Community Restoration Project with fellow Ministers Dale Flowers and Gerard Robinson, Kenya Jarmon and others. The group targets the area of Government Street to East Roosevelt Street.
"We have a heart to serve South Baton Rouge," Landry said. "We collaborate with other ministers so that we can come together to meet the needs of those in our community."
The Community Restoration Project will host the Christmas Extravaganza at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 10, at the McKinley High School Alumni Center, 1520 Thomas H. Delpit Drive. Gifts will be presented to more than 100 children and the elderly.
"It will be a gift where that child or that elderly person will know that somebody loves them, that Jesus loves them," Landry said.
She plans to curtail her busy schedule this month — including taking a sabbatical from the "Midnight Cry" on Facebook — to refresh and spend time with family. And to get ready to deliver more for God in the new year.
"I believe that for 2018, God has some more things for us to do," Landry said, "and we want to be prepared for it."
Faith Matters runs every other Saturday in The Advocate. Reach Terry Robinson at (225) 388-0238 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.