Rodney Livingston

Rodney Livingston brings a sense of joy and purpose to everything he does.  Being around Rodney it does not take long to discover his deep love for life and for ministry. It just comes naturally to him since he grew up as a “preacher’s kid” near Booneville, Mississippi. (Rodney’s dad, Ronnie is the long-time preacher for the Marietta, Mississippi Church of Christ and his mom, Cathy, accompanied Rodney on some of his Lithuania mission trips.)

Rodney brought this sense of purpose to his educational pursuits- earning his B.A. in Bible from Magnolia Bible College in Kosicuko, Misssissippi in 2007 and his M.Min from Freed-Hardeman University in Henderson, Tennessee in 2009. Currently he is working to complete his M.Div at FHU.

Rodney brought this sense of purpose to the mission field. He spent several summers working in Lithuania as a counselor and teacher during sessions of Lithuania Christian Camp. He also served as a Bible teacher during a trip to Mexico in 2006.

Currently Rodney is serving as associate minister at the Leoma Church of Christ in Leoma, Tennessse. Rodney explains that since there is no youth minister at this congregation he “gets to fill that role very often.” Supporting Rodney in his ministry is his wonderful wife, Chasity. They are blessed with one daughter, Macie-Kate who is three years old and are expecting her brother, Callan, around September 3rd.  One of Rodney’s greatest joys is spending time with his family.

The outdoors appeal to Rodney. He “loves to play golf and softball.” “Hunting,” he says “is a big part of my life.”

“Studying the Bible and working through classes is a great challenge for me,” Rodney shares. He considers this a “hobby.” He also enjoys working with children through his ministry.

None of this is surprising if you know Rodney. His life is ministry and ministry is his life. He brings the same passion, purpose and joy to both and numerous people are blessed as a result!

Thanks for your heart of ministry and your beautiful feet Rodney. We are indeed blessed and encouraged to see such dedication in your life and ministry.  The kingdom everywhere is stronger for your service.

Other churches were Rodney has served:

  • Hills Chapel Church of Christ in Booneville, MS
  • Gum Church of Christ near Fulton, MS

Rodney invites everyone to visit their church website.  He writes regular devotionals on this site.  You can contact him at rodneylivingston@leomachurch.org.

Please take the time to encourage Rodney in the comment section. He would appreciate it!

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Filed under Chrisitan schools, Christian Camps, Church of Christ, Freed Hardeman University, Leoma Church of Christ, Magnolia Bible College, Missions, preachers

Allen Coker

Growing up – preaching for Allen Coker was “doing something as natural to me as breathing.” Even before his birth his mom in a “Hannah moment”- as Allen describes it- “devoted” him to God. As a blessed result Allen began developing his preaching gift as a part of a young man’s training class at the Tilden Church of Christ in Fulton, MS.

He admits that “it’s not that easy anymore,” but he still feels a great “sense of fulfillment” as he preaches every Sunday at the National Park Church in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

Allen’s journey to a life of dedicated ministry began in earnest after spending one year of study at Mississippi State University. Entering his sophomore year he enrolled at Magnolia Bible College in Kosciusko, Mississippi. He remained there first as a student (earning his BA in Bible in 2000) and then effectively serving the college in the recruiting, fundraising, financial and institutional research departments for twelve years.  His last position for the college was Chief Administrative Officer. He also was a member of MBC’s outstanding singing group, Zomen, and through this ministry traveled nationwide blessing people through the gift of praise. He states, “Some of my fondest times were spent with students at the dormitory, singing in the college’s quartet, and hosting youth events on campus.” Allen is truly a fine young man of multiple gifts- all of which he uses to God’s glory for the kingdom’s sake.

His ministry in Kosciusko was not limited to the college. Allen served as a deacon for the South Huntington Church of Christ with particular emphasis on their benevolent food ministry, “Five Loaves” (which he co-founded), and their pre-school program. Allen also led the other deacons in vision and budget planning.

All of this richly varied ministry experience taught Allen “valuable lessons about serving in the church,” and prepared him well for his ministry at the National Park Church. He describes this church as a family who “loves, cares, and is active in serving each other and the community.”

Allen has a love and respect for the text of Scripture and theology. He enjoys the opportunity to “go deep” into theological studies and discussion. He also enjoys reading and the challenge of leadership. His current pursuit of an MA in Leadership and Management at Amridge University provides him the chance to fulfill all these passions.

About his ministry he says, “My ministry has been enriched by studying other disciplines. I have also developed a passion for discipleship, church planting and church multiplication. I look forward to where these new ideas might lead.”

Wherever they may lead, Allen will have his sweet wife of fourteen years, Kristy, and their talented children Holley (who is 12) and Drew (who is 4) there by his side. Allen rejoices in the tremendous gift of his family and the support he receives from them. “Kristy is a big supporter of me and the work I do,” he shares and “truly is a fellow-laborer.” Holley and Drew are “full of joy, well-adjusted, smart and tender-hearted.”

Allen remains energized and excited about his ministry. He admits struggling with the often slow pace of church ministry. Because of this “it’s hard to evaluate the impact you’re making.” Even so he rejoices in seeing lives transformed. He shares, “It is amazing to me what God can and does do in our hearts and lives. I love to see him working!”

Without a doubt God continues to work in Allen’s life. He is a highly effective “planter and gardener in God’s field” who uses his many gifts to strengthen and grow God’s  kingdom.

Thank you Allen for fulfilling your mother’s desire by dedicating your life to preaching and ministry. Indeed many have been blessed on the kingdom path your “beautiful feet” have walked.

  • To hear Allen’s preach go here.
  • You can read Allen’s blog here
  • Here is Allen’s Facebook Page
  • His twitter account is @allencoker

Let Allen know how much you appreciate his ministry by sharing an encouraging word with him.

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Filed under Chrisitan schools, Church of Christ, discipleship, leadership, Magnolia Bible College, ministry, National Park Church, preachers

Darin Hamm

Darin, Lori, Nathan, Madison and Morgan Hamm

Darin Hamm prepared to preach early in life. He remembers as a child using the shelves as stairs to climb the pulpit of the Scott City (KS) Church of Christ before expounding “forcefully on any given Scripture.”   

He recalls, “It was just me, an empty auditorium and the smell of vinyl tile. A simple switch and the sound system buzzed to life and I was transformed into a preacher.” Soon after he was preaching before live audiences on Sunday nights. 

That transformation would not be complete until later however. As he grew into adulthood Darin wrestled with his call to preaching ministry as he dealt with the larger challenges of adolescence.  He admits that it was not until his senior year at Oklahoma Christian University that he “totally surrendered my life to Jesus Christ.” After he earned his degree in Graphic Design there he felt “that preaching had passed me by.”   

God had other plans. He still remembered that young boy climbing up the pulpit with the felt call to preach.   

In 2001 a wonderful ministry door was opened for Darin at the Elkhart, Church of Christ. Darin describes this congregation as a “small church in western Kansas” which offered limited support and a “700 square foot parsonage.” It proved to be a faith move for Darin and his growing family. He and his wife, Lori, were expecting their third child at this time. But they accepted the challenge and soon Darin “was learning what it meant to be the minister” of a church.   

He states, “I have not given up since.”   

The family of God at the New Heights Church is glad he hasn’t. Darin has been preaching at this growing church in Owasso, Oklahoma since October 2004. He says of this body of believers, “I was drawn by their desire to impact community. I had a real desire to be at a place that wanted to be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ- a place that prioritized loving your neighbor.”  

The New Heights Church emphasizes external ministry such as community tutoring; home improvement ministry for seniors citizens living on fixed incomes; ESL classes; job skills training, essay contests in public schools; medical ministry; clothes closet; and supporting world missions.  

   

community outreach

 

Not coincidentally, Darin is increasingly being asked to share the New Heights story and consult with other churches to help them establish similar community impact ministries.   

Darin’s main ministry focus is to serve those whom Christ described as “the least of these.”  Indeed he is being the hands and feet of Jesus!   

Here are some websites and links that will help you get to know Darin even more:   

  • The New Heights church website is here.
  • Darin writes a fantastic blog. It is here.
  • His video messages can be found here.
  • Here is his Facebook page.

Learing more about the dedication of men like Darin is a great encouragement. Thanks Darin for using you “beautiful feet” to help share the gospel with your community.   

If you would like- please pass along an uplifting word to Darin in the comment section.

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Filed under Church of Christ, community ministry, ministry, New Heights Church, Oklahoma Christian University, preachers

Brad Adcock

Hang around Brad Adcock for any length of time and you will surely be  impressed by his faith in God and his commitment to preach the gospel of Christ. 

Brad is one of the growing number of “bi-vocational” preachers among us. He works at least forty hours every week as an architectural draftsman in Kosciusko, Mississippi while also preaching and serving at the Oak Ridge Church of Christ near Koscuisko in rural Attala county. 

In his ministry Brad is blessed to have the support of his sweet wife, the former Laura Gardner (who grew up as a “preacher’s kid”). Six months ago they joyfully welcomed Nathan to their family. 

More than choosing to preach, Brad felt called into ministry. He states:  “It’s just a strong desire to share Christ and my faith walk with others.  It’s more than just preaching to me, it has to be a life that reflects the truth and values of Christ as well.” 

The church at Oak Ridge are the current beneficiaries of Brad’s passion to preach. For decades this small rural congregation served as a training ground for many young preachers attending Magnolia Bible College.  Brad also began his ministry there while a student at MBC in January 2006, but has remained long after his graduation in 2007 to dynamically lead “the Ridge” to enjoy one of their greatest ever periods of stability and growth.  As a wonderful consequence of this growth they are “currently working with a contractor to finalize the details on a new structure to replace the entire building.” Brad further shares, “We’re trusting God to help us be good stewards and at the same time stepping out in faith that we will be able to complete this project.” 

Brad admits that balancing two full-time jobs along with his family can be quite difficult.  Carving out study and prayer time constantly challenges him. It “can be draining physically, spiritually and emotionally at times,” he confesses. 

Working within a smaller church context is also something to which he has had to adjust. He has learned to not focus on numbers, but rather focus on the evidence of spiritual growth among those he serves. He credits the seasoned advice of former MBC professor, Ray Pasuer, in helping him develop this healthy perspective. He remembers Ray teaching him, “If you absolutely have to have a ‘big’ church, then don’t keep jumping around from place to place; grow the church you’re at!” Brad is committed to do just that with the help and blessings of the Lord. 

Brad is very thankful that God led him to Oak Ridge. He rejoices in the positive changes and spiritual growth he witnesses in the lives of this body of believers.  Because of his servant spirit and humble heart, Brad is doing a tremendous ministry at Oak Ridge and is greatly appreciated by this  church family. 

Brad is a powerful example of God’s servants who quietly but passionately and faithfully minister to their community and to God’s people. Wherever we live and worship we are certainly blessed and encouraged because of his dedicated work.

You can hear some of Brad’s sermons here.

Take a minute and bless Brad with an encouraging word!

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Filed under Bi-vocational ministers, Chrisitan schools, Church of Christ, Magnolia Bible College, ministry, Oak Ridge Church of Christ, preachers

Eddie Lewis

A word of explanation about this new blog: This is the first of what I hope will be weekly profiles of  ministers within the churches of the Restoration fellowship. It is my prayer that this blog will serve not only to give honor to the ministers who are faithfully serving among us, but also become a resource for both ministers and churches. I can’t think of a better person to begin this effort with than Eddie Lewis. – DD

The characteristic of Eddie Lewis which is always evident is his warm smile. Eddie, who is currently serving as Associate Minister in Education at the Germantown Church of Christ near Memphis, TN has been blessed with the gift of encouragement. This has only worked to endear Eddie to those he has served throughout his forty-two years of ministry.

As a young man Eddie did not envision a lifetime spent in ministry. He had other plans until God intervened through the influence of a young woman named Judy Smart, her grandmother and a few encouraging preachers in Northwest Mississippi. Soon Eddie was not only speaking in area youth events, but also married to Judy.

God knew what he was doing! He has been well served and represented ever since though this wonderful couple.

After earning a degree in Bible at Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas and while earning a degree in counseling at  Harding Graduate School of Religion in Memphis, TN Eddie began his preaching ministry. Ultimately Eddie served as the preaching minister for seven congregations in Arkansas and Mississippi before moving to Germantown in 2000.

The churches Eddie served always grew! He also stressed the need for Christian education in his ministry and was involved not only in teaching at established Christian Schools, but also instrumental in establishing new ones like the Metro Christian School in Fort Smith, Arkansas. Over the course of his ministry Eddie also started Christian Day Care Centers, developed campus ministries, wrote weekly newspaper columns, worked in and directed Christian youth camps and began successful bus ministries. Eddie has left a wonderful legacy of growth and goodwill throughout all of his ministry. He first and foremost has been about serving people in the name of Christ.

There have been challenges and disappointments along the way. Throughout it all Eddie stuck by his conviction that “the preacher should exemplify Christ and reach people with the love and grace of God in his preaching.” Certainly numerous people have been blessed because of that conviction.

God has sent Eddie many rewards and blessings throughout his ministry career.  Chief among those, of course, are his family. Judy is one amazing lady who serves God through her own counseling ministry in the Memphis and North Mississippi area. She and Eddie team up to conduct their Family Enrichment Seminars at churches all over the United States. As a part of this ministry Eddie also authored the book, The Wedding is Over… What Now?

Eddie and Judy have two daughters-  Angelia Lewis Weeks (married to Mickey Weeks of Collierville, TN) and Christy Lewis Dye (married to Chris Dye of Olive Branch, MS).  They have three grandchildren-  Autumn Weeks, Nolan Weeks, and Lance Dye. One of Eddie’s greatest joys is being able to live nearby and spend time with his family.

Over the years Eddie has been encouraged by many who have expressed appreciation of his ministry by sharing with him how that ministry has touched their lives. He states, “I am always surprised when a young person (child or grandchild) will call me or write me and tell me about how much I influenced their family.” But it should come as no surprise! Eddie’s sharing of his gift of encouragement has borne fruit everywhere he has ministered.

Eddie has also made it a special part of his ministry to mentor and encourage younger ministers. I know firsthand the benefit of this mentoring. Eddie’s ministry has served as a model for numerous others ministers.

Eddie plans to retire  from his full-time work of being responsible for the children’s ministry and adult education program at the Germantown church in the fall of 2012. He will still be involved in ministry at Germantown on a part-time basis and he looks forward to be able to visit and work with more congregations in his native state of Mississippi while being able to spend even more time with his grandchildren.

Eddie and Judy's grandchildren- Nolan Weeks, Autumn Weeks, and Lance Dye.

Thanks Eddie for letting us get to know you through this post. Your life of ministry through serving God in churches of Christ has literally touched thousands of people. Your feet are beautiful indeed! (Romans 10:15)

Eddie can be reached through the Germantown Church of Christ.

Other churches Eddie has served:

  • South Main Church of Christ in Greenville, MS
  • Foote Street Church of Christ in Corinth, MS
  • Cleveland Church of Christ in Cleveland, MS
  • Central Church of Christ in Fort Smith, AR
  • Windsor Drive Church of Christ in Fort Smith, AR
  • Seventh and Mueller Church of Christ in Paragould, AR
  • Keiser Church of Christ  in Keiser, AR

If you would like to add a note of appreciation and encouragement to Eddie, please do so.

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Filed under Chrisitan schools, Christian Camps, Church of Christ, education ministry, Germantown Church of Christ, ministry, preachers, Uncategorized