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Sunday Sit-Down



By Greg Ritchie

Messenger Reporter

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 at the bottom of this article. The Messenger would like to thank Cutshaw Chevrolet in Grapeland for sponsoring this week’s edition.

When did you first feel a calling to be a preacher?

“I knew God had called me to the ministry. When I went into youth ministry, I was green – I didn’t know anything. I went back and ministered in the church I grew up in. It was a very diverse church. So the youth that I ministered to were from all different backgrounds. I absolutely loved it. My kids grew up in that ministry. I began looking for a full-time position as a minister. I did not want to pick – I told the Lord, ‘You give me what I am supposed to do and I will follow You. He led us to a small church and for three years He showed that I was called to be there. He definitely honed my skills! There is a good reason why I don’t have any record or video of my early sermons!”

What is the hardest part of being a preacher?

“Anytime you work with people – it’s hard. You will have people who love you and people who don’t like you. I hope no one has ever hated me! You think about what Jesus went through and you say, ‘Well, I haven’t had it that bad yet.’ You do deal with some difficult people. Navigating that is probably the hardest because you want to love them. You still want the best for them, even if they don’t want the best for you. Or you say, ‘This is the way – let’s walk in it – and they just refuse. The hardest part is when you love somebody that doesn’t want to be loved. You hurt for those people. You hurt when they hurt. Usually, when somebody is doing something contrary to God’s word, it comes back to hurt them. You think, ‘This all could have been avoided.”

What do you like most about being a pastor? 

“After 25 years, I still absolutely love the scripture. I am overwhelmed sometimes. I am still finding things and I am in awe of Him. I love not only to get it – I love to preach it. I love to bring it to the people and say, ‘Look what I found! I am excited about it!”

What do you think God wants from each of us?

“The number one commandment. And it is a commandment – to love Him. He wants us to love Him. I think He commands it because it is not natural for us. We tend to love ourselves more than anything else. We chase after things, but selfishly because we love ourselves – that’s why we want those things. But He wants us to forsake that and love Him – and chase after Him. It’s so much more rewarding when we do that. I believe that if we love Him – we will obey Him, we will know His word and love one another. The basis of a well-lived life has a lot to do from loving the Lord with all of our hearts, mind and strength.”

First Baptist Church meets each Sunday at 10:50 a.m. at 408 West Chestnut St., Grapeland. Call the church at 936-687-2558. 

Greg Ritchie can be reached at [email protected]

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