Stephenson called as pastor of churches

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 1, 2003

County Clerk Allen Stephenson has added the job of pastor to his list of occupations. He was recently called as pastor of First Baptist Church of Georgiana and Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church in the Providence community.

&uot;I was ordained by these two churches in 2002,&uot; Stephenson said. &uot;I also served as their interim pastor for a year in 2001-2002.&uot;

Stephenson explained that the two churches have shared a pastor for quite some time.

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&uot;I will have an 8:45 service at Mt. Pisgah on Sunday mornings and a 11 a.m. service at First Baptist,&uot; he said. &uot;Then I will have 6 p.m. Sunday

and Wednesday services at First Baptist also.&uot;

The pastor said he is very happy to have been called as pastor of the churches because he has a true fondness for them.

&uot;I really love these people and appreciate their graciousness in ordaining me,&uot; Stephenson said. &uot;It’s a real honor for me to come back now as their pastor.&uot;

He said he will face a major challenge early on in his pastoral career.

&uot;We are planning on building a new church at First Baptist this year,&uot; he said. &uot;This will be my first great challenge.

The church will be torn down and replaced by a completely new facility, Stephenson said, including a new sanctuary, new classrooms and a family life center.

&uot;The new facility will be all on one level to help our older congregation members and will be more modern,&uot; he said. &uot;Because of construction costs we chose not to renovate the existing structure and decided to build new instead.&uot;

Stephenson said that no definite plans have been decided on yet for the new church.

&uot;We are in the process of trying to get final plans drawn,&uot; he said. &uot;Once we do that, then we will be in a capital-raising mode. But we hope to start construction on the new building some time this year. That might be ambitious, but we need to get on with it.&uot;

The pastor said they will have to make plans for accommodations for the church’s services while the new church is being constructed.

&uot;We will have to make that decision once we get a bit further with the plans for the construction,&uot; he said.

The former pastor of the two churches

was Jeff Gaylor, who resigned recently to take a position in Prattville, Ala.

&uot;He had family in that area and wanted to move closer to them,&uot; Stephenson said.