Cheryl was born the youngest daughter of Pastor Chuck and Kay Smith. At a very young age, her father instilled in her a love for Biblical truth, as he would tuck her into bed each night with prayer and an exciting Bible story. According to Cheryl, her mother was the person who infused her with a passion and enthusiasm for the promises and exhortations of Scripture. "Mom filled the house with the promises of God. She used to pay me a quarter for every Bible verse I committed to memory. This was even better than losing a tooth, which only brought in a nickel!" Her mother was a prayer warrior. Cheryl remembers a turning point in her life when she overheard her mom interceding for her. "I heard my mom as if in conversation in her room. I peeked in her room to see who she was speaking with, and there she was on her knees talking to Jesus about me. To this day, the memory of her faithful prayers still brings me to tears."
Another powerful influence in Cheryl's life was her mother's older sister, Aunt EC. This godly aunt had been a missionary and a Bible teacher for over forty years by the time Cheryl was born. Aunt EC modeled the Biblical realities with such joy and authenticity that Cheryl was captivated. "I used to feel that when EC prayed, the angels of heaven would swing the doors open to the Holy of Holies and God would welcome her with a huge smile. Her prayers were that real and powerful. You could sense the pleasure of God in her life."
Although Cheryl grew up in a godly home, she experienced a two-year personal crisis of faith during her senior year of high school and first year of college. Introduced to intellectualism, and stumbled by an emotional upheaval, she almost surrendered her faith. "I remember being alone in my room and literally contemplating resigning myself from the Christian faith. At that time, various secular poets were influencing me. As I began to write in my journal about the wonder of man's accomplishments and genius, my thoughts took a different turn. Suddenly, I started outlining all the destructive things that man's wisdom has led to. I wrote about atom bombs, smog, guns, and such. Suddenly, I felt a presence enter the room." Cheryl describes this as the time Jesus presented Himself to her and asked, "What will you do with Me?" It was at this time that Cheryl made a full surrender of her life to Jesus Christ.
Almost two years later Cheryl met her soul mate and the man who would become the love of her life, Brian Brodersen. They met at a small home Bible study in Huntington Harbor, California. Cheryl recalls a handsome young man cornering her. "He had an infectious love for Jesus. As we spoke about the Lord, I kept saying to him, "Wow! You love Jesus like I love Jesus!" As she talked to Brian, another young woman came and took possession of Brian's hand. Cheryl quickly backed away. Driving home in the car she commented to her girlfriends about her encounter with Brian, remarking that he was exactly the type of young man she would like to marry. Two weeks later at church, Brian informed Cheryl that the girl who had grasped his hand that night was NOT his girlfriend. He also asked Cheryl on what would be the first of many dates. Their dates would consist of long walks, heart to heart talks about the Bible, Mexican restaurants, and Bible studies at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa. On May 23, 1980, Cheryl and Brian were wed by her father at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa. A year later God graced Brian and Cheryl with their first child, a beautiful girl whom they named Kristyn. Three more siblings would later join Kristyn: including brother Char, sister Kelsey, and finally brother Braden.
In 1983, Brian and Cheryl moved to Vista, California, where Brian assumed the pastorate of a small Calvary Chapel. Within four years, the little church was bursting at the seams. It was at Calvary Chapel Vista in 1983 that Cheryl first began to minister to woman on a weekly basis, teaching through the Bible. Before this time, Cheryl's teaching experience had been limited to Sunday school and student-teaching through a university program. Cheryl loved exploring Biblical truths and then communicating those truths to the women at Vista. The women's study, like the church, grew. It wasn't long until they needed a new facility to house the burgeoning flock entrusted to them by God. Cheryl has precious memories of her time in Vista. "I am not sure who learned the greater lessons. I know that I taught the women through various books of the Bible, but they taught me such love, grace, and acceptance." Some of Cheryl's most treasured friendships were formed during her thirteen years serving beside her husband in Vista.
In 1996, Brian and Cheryl moved to London, England, with their four children. There Brian established a Calvary Chapel in Westminster, London, just down the street from Buckingham Palace. On the first Sunday at Calvary Chapel Westminster, there were only eight people in attendance beyond Brian and Cheryl's own family. However, God was faithful to add daily to the fellowship in London an assembly of precious sinners made saints by the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
In London Cheryl home-schooled her four children, taught two weekly women's Bible studies, hosted many visitors to her home, and ministered in the children's ministry.
In the year 2000, at the request of Cheryl's father, Brian and Cheryl, with their family and a new son-in-law, returned to California to have Brian transition into the pastorate of Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa. Since returning, Cheryl has assumed from her mother the Joyful Life women's Bible teaching ministry at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa. She and Brian also host the Bible-answer program "Wisdom from the Word" on Friday afternoons. Cheryl and Brian have four children, two sons-in-law, a daughter-in-law, four grandsons, and one granddaughter!
Cheryl has been ministering for over 26 years as a retreat and conference speaker, Bible teacher, wife, mother, and grandma. It is her joy and privilege to minister biblical truths to women of all ages.