The Rev. Dr. Owen Gordon of the Mississippi Conference has been selected dean of the Rural Chaplains Association.
He replaced Rev. Dr. Harold McSwain of Columbus, Ohio. McSwain, former director of the Hinton Rural Life Center and professor emeritus at United Theological Seminary, had served as dean since 1991.
Gordon lives in DeKalb is the pastor of the New Hope, Pleasant Ridge, Spring Hill and Union Hill United Methodist churches in Kemper County. He also serves as director of the Meridian District Ramp Ministry.
The Rural Chaplains are an ecumenical and international group of lay people and clergy committed to serving rural churches and communities. While most are United Methodist, the fellowship is ecumenical and includes Disciples of Christ, Roman Catholics, Baptist and others.
Chaplains are networked to better enable them to be advocates for justice in rural communities, interpreters for the larger church and community of issues unique to rural life, address issues related to land use, do ministry to and with farm communities and lift up ethical and theological issues related to feeding the world.