MOUNT OLIVE CHURCH KENNARD
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 online click on the video at the end of this article. The Messenger would like to thank Cutshaw Chevrolet in Grapeland for sponsoring this week’s edition.
Shawn King has been the Pastor of Mount Olive Church for eight years. It is a non-denominational church located near Kennard.
When did you first feel a calling to be a preacher?
“I was five years old in children’s church. My heart was strangely warmed. I went forward to an altar call in the children’s church. I came home and told my parents that I wanted to preach. My reaction was unmistakable to them. I got away from the church and then in my late teens I had an experience with Christ. As soon as that happened – and things were right with God and I – I knew it would be an inevitable step to become a pastor. Because it had already been there since the age of five.”
Is there a certain passage/story/verse in the Bible that inspires you?
“You couldn’t go wrong with John 3:16, Romans 5:8 or Ephesians 2:8. I guess Mark Chapter One and its parallel stories in other books is a fascinating story for me. Jesus cleansing lepers. And the reason why is because if He is God, then He has all the power. People have been believing in God’s power for a long time. We still do even though we don’t call it that. Leprosy is a disease that used to exist in society and there is a lot of misunderstanding about it. If you get it, it’s terminal. It’s painful. It’s awful. You get isolated. You lose your job, you lose your privileges. You will probably starve to death unless someone throws food to you. And then on top of that – you are perceived by the community as if you have done something to deserve this. You are under the plague of God. These were untouchables. And so when the son of God goes in public to demonstrate: ‘This is what God looks like.’ When He touches the untouchable – even more powerful than the healing – I think the touch is awe-inspiring.”
What is the hardest part of being a preacher?
“Practicing what you preach. Being who you say you are. Projecting that image that you have to project – that every pastor has to project to be successful. You want your children, your spouse, your family to be able to say, ‘That man is who he is out there – and in the house.’ Practicing spiritual disciplines: the praying, the fasting, all these things – it’s one thing to tell people they need to be doing that. It’s another thing to steadily and faithfully do it. I take that seriously. But it is a challenge.”
When you meet God, is there a question or something else you will say to Him?
“Yes, I have questions. I think I am going to say nothing. The Bible says, ‘Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord. I have this feeling that the beatific vision is going to be jaw-dropping. The Bible says we will see God and see Him as He is. I like to think that in that moment – without words – the deepest questions, the deepest wounds – they are answered in ways that are done without verbal communication. That’s my dream of it. But yes, I would have a lot of questions. Some of them might be, ‘Why Lord did this happen?’ Some other questions might be, ‘God why did you make love bugs?’”
Mount Olive Church meets every Sunday for worship at 10:45 a.m. The church is located at 2639 County Road 4600 near Kennard. It is just down the road from Larry Bruce’s Garden.
Greg Ritchie can be reached at [email protected]