My first appointment

On March 1st, I got out of my comfort zone and took a leap of faith. I left my home, family, and my stability to pursue a position at Lea Joyner United Methodist Church. This decision for this move was not an easy one for several reasons my parents just moved to LaBelle on January 1st, we had great jobs as teachers, and we owned a beautiful home.

However, I took a leap of faith, and I got out of my comfort zone because I knew I was not obedient to God’s call on my life. I knew that I was not called to be a teacher. My mother remembers me telling her when I was ten years old “I was going to be the pastor, and live in the country.” Even though I do not remember this conversation with her, God was preparing my heart even then.

Although this move is incredibly hard and in fact, my family and I are still in the midst of processing this transition. We all know this is God’s calling on my life, and within that call comes acceptance of the sacrifice.

I figured when I would start my first appointment I would be a “big boy” have my small church somewhere in the middle of nowhere. However, God sure had a sense of humor see six years ago or so I was told by then the associate pastor of Saint Francisville United Methodist Church “that I would really like Monroe.”

That Pastor is now the Senior Pastor of Lea Joyner UMC, and here I am in Monroe serving as one of his associates. The irony in this is beyond anything I could have imagined. I also would have never guessed that I would be serving as a pastor serving Youth and Children. However, on July 1st, I will transition from being a director to a pastor. Nothing really will change in how I approach ministry, other than I now can baptize students, serve communion, and maybe perform a wedding of a few of my former kids.

However, in reality, it changes everything that I do. It makes me want to strive to do better than I have done anywhere else, it keeps me accountable not only to my Senior Pastor but also to the District Superintendent, The Bishop, and the Board of Ordained Ministry, it gives me the freedom to grow as pastor and learn in ways I have not been able to until this point. Most importantly it allows me the opportunity to grow in my personal faith.

I am excited that God has given me this opportunity to continue along the path of ministry which I admit I ventured off for a while. I am excited to be at a place where I have the opportunity to learn, and despite the hard things that won’t go away, I can walk by faith and not by sight.

And in 15 more days, I will be reunited with my wife and son. For only God knows what will take place in the months to come, but here I am.




4 thoughts on “My first appointment

  1. Dear Ricky, I loved your letter,good job. I wish you,Amanda, and Ricky III the very best; I remember you being born at the hospital. We had Ashlee with us, and she couldnt get over you. Either could me. Laying there with your little blue hat on. Love you to the moon and back. Love, Grandma, & Grandpa

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