Ordination: Say yes to God

Bishop Marcus Matthews preaches ordination service on ‘When He Calls’

By Jessica Brodie

Even when we’re tired, even when going where He sends us would be difficult to do, keep on saying yes to God.

That was the word from Baltimore-Washington Conference Bishop Marcus Matthews, who preached the ordination and commissioning service at Annual Conference.

Matthews preached on “When He Calls” in a service that ordained 12 people as elders and four as deacons and commissioned 17 as provisional elders.

Every day, Matthews told the clergy, people should see something different in us, something that reflects the light and the work of Christ Jesus.

“We need men and women strong in their faith who have a story they want to share with the world,” Matthews said. “We are here tonight in the name of the one who never gave up on his commitment to do the will of God.”

A native of South Carolina who got his start as a community service worker at Cumberland UMC, Florence, Matthews discussed some of the challenges he experienced growing up in South Carolina during the time of segregation.

“It is said the most important thing about an individual is not the date of one’s birth or death but rather what we do with the time we are given in between,” Matthews told the clergy. “And by the grace of what God has given us, it is up to each of us to choose what we do with it.”

He said as children, we learn very early to become fearful of what is unknown. But walls can come down, just like the walls of segregation and the walls dividing east from west Germany.

“My friends, we all stand on the shoulders of mothers who paid a very heavy price for whatever blessings (we have),” Matthews said to applause. “I don’t know where I’d be if not for a loving family and a local church that embraced me and loved me as a child of God.”

So many times, he said, God works through other people to shape and mold us—and often to give us clarity for our ministry.

He encouraged the ordinands to allow God to work through them for His good.

“People are hurting in so many places, and we need men and women like you to go into those places and allow the word to be heard,” Matthews said.

The following were ordained as deacons: Adrienne Hamm Fink, Angela Renee Johnson, Margaret Hughey Wilkes and Paige Matthews Wolfe.

The following were ordained as elders: Megan Danielle Augustine, Heather Stewart Baird, Frances Sarah Connell, Jerry Lewis Dicks, Jonathan David Harris, Ronnie Lee Jeffcoat, Laura Allen Kerlin, Kevin Bruce Lindley, Blondell Stephenson Miller, Christopher Lee Thompson, Joseph Alva Wilson and Andrew Roy Wolfe.

The following were commissioned as provisional elders: Eugene Aaron Aiken, Lawrence Cantey Jr., James Derrick Cattenhead, Meredith Marie Dark, Kristin Marie Dollar, Ernest Winfred Frierson, Brandon Lee Fulmer, Enrique Roberto Gordan, Daniel Robert Griswold, Cheryl Giles Johnson, Brandon Craig Lazarus, Travis Aaron Pearson, Tenny Hutchison Rupnick, Edward Tyler Strange, Walter Edward Strawther, William McClary Wrighten and LaShelia Mack Wyatt.

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