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The Dart – Pastor: “I love seeing things grow” – Daily Leader

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The Dart – Pastor: “I like to see things grow”

Posted at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 9, 2022

A man and his son worked to pick up leaves and members from the Central Baptist Church parking lot near Meadowbrook Drive, near where The Dart landed on Thursday afternoon. Dressed in a t-shirt, blue jeans and a baseball cap, Ryan Thurman took a moment to rest in the shade and sit down on a sidewalk.

He was born in New Orleans but moved to Brookhaven when he was three years old. His family had roots in Brookhaven. Vacation Bible School is where he was born again when he made the decision to follow Jesus at the age of seven.

An alumnus of Brookhaven Academy, he went to Copiah-Lincoln Community College before going to William Carey University in Hattiesburg with his high school sweetheart Amanda Mitchell, now Thurman. She graduated in teaching and has been teaching for 20 years.

Ryan took a different path. He was led by the Lord to work in ministry and started as a youth pastor in 2003. He received his master’s degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and worked as a student pastor at First Baptist Church McComb. Then in 2007 he was called back to Brookhaven and Central Baptist Church.

“I grew up in church and I grew up in a Christian home. I actually went to that church when it was still on North Jackson Street at the time,” he said. “I felt the call of the Lord at the age of 14 to serve. I followed him. I first ran away but gave up my freshman year at Co-Lin and followed him. continued since. I did not choose the ministry, it chose me.

Her son Mitchell Ryan Thurman was helping her clean around the church on Thursday and her daughter Ashlyn is 17. Her two children are enrolled in schools in Brookhaven. Each day, his walk begins with being faithful and obedient to the Lord, to his family as a godly husband and father, and to his flock.

His role with the church is to help equip the saints for ministry, Ephesians 4:11-12. The grace of God saved him and it is the same grace that allows him to be a pastor. People may not realize that pastoral duties lie behind the church pulpit on Sunday mornings.

Thurman said he was involved in the lives of people at his church. This could be by meeting them during the week over coffee. It’s a job that has no set hours and he’s always looking for better ways to serve.

Although seminary schooling helps, a person does not need to have a degree in religion or theology to serve others. He said God works in life to train and equip.

“A minister is perfectly prepared because he is going. The best teacher is the Holy Spirit when you follow the leading of the Lord He will teach and train,” he said.

In his spare time, he enjoys the outdoors and fishing. A garden at home is where he spends his time six months a year, as he enjoys growing, cooking and eating vegetables.

“I like to see things grow. I think there’s a connection between gardening and watching things grow and watching people grow and how God makes us grow,” Ryan said. He is the master gardener. When we get to heaven as he calls us home, we will continue to work but it will be work of pleasure and joy. The correlation between watching things grow and enjoying the fruits of it often reminds me of how it makes us grow.

Although he enjoys gardening and the outdoors, people are the greatest creation created in the image of God, he said. The nature and the gardens will not last but her relationship with God and her Christian family will.

“The greatest investment as a man is in my family and this congregation. He will live long after my years,” he said. “When God calls you into a church to serve, you go there to stay. and you plant roots and develop relationships. I have been here for 15 years and He has not led me to pursue another field. We have had our ups and downs as a church and moved to this campus 12 years ago. We have seen victories and he has provided us every step of the way. It is a wonderful congregation. He blessed us. I’m blessed to be the pastor here.