BETHEL BAPTIST CHURCH CROCKETT
By Greg Ritchie
This is a series of reports the Messenger will be doing each Sunday about local pastors in our area. To see the full interview, check out the video at the end of this article. The Messenger would like to thank Cutshaw Chevrolet in Grapeland for sponsoring this week’s edition.
Dwayne Moffitt has been preaching for 25 years. He has been at Bethel Baptist for the last eight months.
When did you first feel a calling to be a preacher?
“I began preaching at the age of 14, in 1997. I was at home and I was minding my own business and I thought my mom had called me. She said, ‘No, I didn’t call you.’ But somebody was calling me. And I had a conversation with my grandfather. He told me to go pray. My grandfather was a deacon for 32 years. My father was a pastor as well. I told my father about what had happened and what was going on. I never wanted to be a preacher because since my dad was a preacher everyone said I would be a preacher too. My father also told me to pray, pray, pray. I got engaged in prayer and fell in love with it. It was the only way I could engage with God and talk with Him. I asked God, ‘Are You calling me somewhere?’ I didn’t want to go anywhere alone because I knew I would fail. God definitely answered me and I told my father what the Lord said. My father sat me down and said, ‘You have a lot to learn before you go running to the pulpit! We are going to sit you down and give you some training. We will pray more and make sure this is the right thing for you.”
Is there a certain passage/story/verse in the Bible that inspires you?
“For the longest time it was the Book of Luke. Luke was my favorite writer. Over the past few years, though, Psalm 23 has meant more to me than anything. Even the first verse is packed with lots of power. ‘The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want.’ It takes me from feeling down to being uplifted – instantaneously. Because I know that when I feel alone I am never alone. Throughout the course of that entire poetic passage He shows us continuously, ‘I’ll provide for you, I’ll sustain you, I’ll protect you. And I will give you something, so that even after you have laid down in the green pastures – surely goodness and mercy will follow you all of your life.’ And that helps me. Nothing bothers me to the point where that cannot lift me up.”
What is the hardest part of being a preacher?
“Funerals. Preaching is the easiest part of ministry. For me, after preaching comes the extra work of glory that God gives you. The hardest thing for me are funerals. And it’s not so much the person that we are saying ‘good night’ to. It’s those on that front row. And on the second and third row. It’s hard to see them mourn. It’s hard to see them cry. It’s hard to see them wrestle with that question, ‘Why?’ And you’re supposed to be giving them encouragement to move past this moment. But you remember there was a time when you sat on that front row. So you totally understand. In our human flesh, it’s hard to deal with some of that. I once considered myself to be strong. But in the course of two years I lost my grandparents; I lost two aunts; and I ended up preaching three of those services. And in the midst of preaching I was hurting. After those services I hit a brick wall. I felt depleted. I understand that mourning is a serious part of ministry. Helping people get through it is a major task of pastors.”
When you meet God, is there a question or something else you will say to Him?
“A long time ago, I was under the belief that we shouldn’t question God. Until I lost my grandparents. At the cusp of everything that was happening for me – graduation and finishing seminary – then God allowing elevation to this church. They were with me my whole life, and then I get here, and I feel lonely. Because they are absent. They can’t be here with me. Everyone with a heart has people they love and want them to be with them in those special moments. And I always thought, ‘Lord, why them?’ That would be my question for Him. Why did He let them miss that moment?”
Bethel Baptist Church meets every Sunday for Sunday school at 9:30 a.m. and worship at 11 a.m. at 904 N 6th St, Crockett.
Greg Ritchie can be reached at [email protected]