Ward names Hicks to lead Hattiesburg

2/19/2008

By Woody Woodrick
Advocate Editor

Filling two roles at one time looms as one of the bigger challenges the Rev. Mike Hicks anticipates in his new appointment.

Bishop Hope Morgan Ward on Feb. 9 announced that Hicks has been appointed superintendent of the Hattiesburg District of the Mississippi Conference effective July 1.

“Wearing two hats is a challenge,” Hicks said. “You serve as pastor to the pastors and in the supervisory role at the same time. Having looked at it from one side, I can see how that can be challenging.”

Hicks has served the last nine years as pastor at St. Luke UMC in Tupelo. Former Hattiesburg Superintendent the Rev. David Price was appointed to Meridian Central UMC earlier this month. The Rev. Clint Gill is serving the district in the interim.

“Mike is an excellent leader among us, has demonstrated capacity to lead the people of God over time in life-giving ways, has pastoral experience in the Hattiesburg District, is committed to expansive and creative ministries, and is gifted for this role at this time in the life of our conference,” Ward said.

Hicks returns to the Hattiesburg District having served three appointments in the area covering about 12 years. He was an associate at Hattiesburg Main Street UMC and also served West Laurel UMC and Petal UMC. An elder in full connection since 1980, he has also served appointments at Union-Mount Zion and Jackson Alta Woods.

Hicks said going from serving the local church to being a supervisor will be different.

“I know its going to be a lot different not having the day-to-day work of the church, worship and preaching. However, I will keep busy looking at 100-something churches and their pastors and congregations. It’s an honor and a challenge. It’s exciting and scary at the same time.”