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CALLED TO SERVE: Hawkins United Methodist Church pastor called to ministry early – The Vicksburg Post

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CALLED TO SERVE: Hawkins United Methodist Church pastor was called to ministry early

Published at 04:00 on Sunday August 28, 2022

At a young age, Harrell Moore knew he was going to be a minister.

“The Lord called me to ministry when I was a teenager,” said the new pastor of Hawkins United Methodist Church. “I was convinced that the Lord was calling me to ministry, so I went to meet our minister and talked to him. He told me about his experience of calling. I talked to my parents and other people – friends – and finally made the decision to submit to the call of God in my life and entered the ministry.

He has served as pastor in several churches and is an elder of the Mississippi Annual Conference.

According to the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of The United Methodist Church, elders are members of the United Methodist clergy who are ordained to a ministry of word, sacrament, order, and service, which which means they preach and teach the Word of God, provide pastoral care and counselling, administer the sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion, and order the life of the church for service in mission and ministry.

“It takes about 10 years to become an elder,” Moore said. “You go through a process – college, go to seminary; (you) are on probation for three years, then after that you are ordained an elder after being elected by the Mississippi Annual Conference. That’s a lot of things you have to do.

It was a path Moore began to serve first as a local student pastor, graduating from William Carey University in Hattiesburg and receiving a Master of Divinity degree from Emory University’s Candler School of Theology in Atlanta. , Ga.

Living in Atlanta, as opposed to Mississippi, Moore said, “It was different; it exposed us to many different religious groups that I had never encountered before; not only among Protestants, but even among Hebrews, Judaics, Muslims, different nationalities and different Christians all over the world.

He said the exposure he received to different religions “helps you understand how God has intervened in the lives of people who can express that experience in different ways and emphasize different things than what we do.

“I think it makes us aware of what we believe and what sets us apart from other groups and why they emphasize a different belief about who God is rather than who we think God revealed himself to be. being in the Old and New Testaments and that was very helpful for me; very, very helpful,” Moore said.

Moore’s first assignment as a pastor was at Sanford UMC in North Hattiesburg.

“In the Methodist Church you are assigned to a church by the bishop,” he said.

“I was there for four years,” he said, adding that he had fond memories of the congregation. “I cherish these people in my heart.”

His longest ministry was in Lucedale, George County, where he served for 23 years.

“We raised our family there,” he said, adding that he and his wife were in George County during Hurricane Katrina helping with the recovery.

Moore and his wife Vicki were in Iuka, where he pastored Iuka First Methodist Church before being assigned to Hawkins. The couple have three children and twin granddaughters. They moved to Vicksburg in June and Moore began his ministry as pastor in July.

“We were thrilled to move to Hawkins and start a new ministry here,” he said. “We loved moving to Vicksburg and getting to know the wonderful people here and experiencing the great hospitality here in Vicksburg. It’s amazing the warmth, kindness and kindness. ”

Moore said he and his wife are excited about their future at Hawkins and church ministries.

Hawkins, he said, “is a very mission-oriented church that reaches out, touches the community in so many, many ways. I intend to stay as long as they allow me to stay and be part of this congregation. The selflessness of our people has been very inspiring and helpful to us in bringing about this change.