By Izzie Zimmerman, Tupelo District Director of Communications
Around 40-50 people gathered each night of the Tupelo District Revival at First UMC in Tupelo, Mississippi to hear from Bishop Clay Lee. On May 1, the Itawamba Community College Wesley Foundation Praise Team participated in the special music with Jo Orr and Rev. Dr. Rick Brooks (St. Luke UMC, Tupelo) leading the special music Saturday night.
Bishop Lee is originally from Laurel, Mississippi but served as Bishop in the Holston area. The Tupelo District was honored to have this man of wisdom share God's Word. Friday night, Bishop Lee began with Micah 6:8 (NLT), "He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." The Bishop shared that this is what God expects of us, and especially as clergy and other church leaders, we should be careful not to get caught up in other things.
Following Bishop Lee's message, many took the opportunity for some time to gather at the altar for prayer. God was clearly moving in individual hearts.
Between the revival services, Bishop Lee made time to meet with Tupelo District pastors to discuss ministry and share his experiences. The pastors in attendance were invited to pose questions and interact with the Bishop. Clergy were asked to share the biggest obstacle they face in the local church. Bishop Lee reminded those in attendance, "Pastors are the voice that interprets God's Word to people. Preaching needs to touch the lives of people where they are." He went on to say, "Our individual life, whether a preacher or not, is intended to love others."
The Bishop concluded the time together by talking about what he believes are the two important things needed in churches today: evangelism and Christian education. Pastors were also asked to share the good things going on in their churches and many were able to easily respond with what God is doing amongst them.
Tupelo District Lay Rally
On Thursday, April 16, 2015 at 6 p.m., 255 people from the Tupelo District gathered at First UMC, Tupelo. The entire district was well represented. The Rev. Steve Casteel, pastor of First UMC in Clinton, Mississippi and host/director of the United Methodist Hour, was the guest speaker. He did a wonderful job of connecting with the audience.
As part of the Lay Rally, there was a time of recognition for outstanding service over the years. The Rev. Tom Sheffield, retired clergy and David Hill, member of New Chapel, Carolina Charge were honored.
Posthumous recognition was given to Rev. Benjamin Wax (1942-2014) and Rev. Maurice Smith (1952-2015).