By Jasmine Haynes, Web and Social Media Specialist
Cokesbury recently appointed Dan Parker as the new community resource consultant for Jackson, Mississippi and its' surrounding areas. Parker is a former lay leader and the
Dan Parker, Cokesbury community resource consultant
current co-chair of the prayer and family ministry at St. Matthews United Methodist Church in Madison, Mississippi where he has been a member for over 13 years. Although Parker has been in sales his entire adult life, this position stood out from most retail-based jobs.
"I've always been interested in working a job where I serve in ministry so when I heard Cokesbury was looking for someone I made a couple of calls, had a few people put in a good word, then Cokesbury contacted me and the rest is history," said Parker.
Cokesbury is the retail division of the United Methodist Publishing House (UMPH). The UMPH decided to close all
Cokesbury Christian Bookstore
in Jackson four days before closing
its doors on January 12.
the physical Cokesbury stores and redirect their focus and resources toward expanding and enhancing products and services for the online store, toll-free call center and regional sales representatives. The Jackson Cokesbury closed January 12, 2013, and left several Mississippi United Methodist churches unsure as to how to continue purchasing the items they need to maintain ministries in their churches. Many churches have expressed concerns on how the store closing will impact rural churches that are less likely to have access to high-speed internet and older congregations that may not be computer savvy.
In an effort to circumvent these issues, Parker has decided to take a personal approach.
"I hope to build strong relationships with as many churches as possible so that people know they can call me when they have problems locating something online or needing some help with how to place orders," shared Parker.
Parker is currently in Nashville receiving training for his new position and will be there for the rest of the week. Upon his return, Parker plans to start visiting churches within a 50-mile radius of Jackson and then branch out into other parts of the state. If a church is in need of assistance before Parker makes it to their region, congregations are welcome to reach Parker via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 601-397-8186 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
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