About Ron

I have been blissfully married to the former Pam Britton since November 10, 1984. She is the Director of Nursing at a 32 bed dementia facility… and loves it! She is the absolute love of my life on earth… a gift from God that I did not deserve. I don’t know anyone more compassionate, kind, merciful, and gracious than she is. Without her, I could not carry out God’s call for my life. She is my friend, encourager, and support during difficult and good times.

We have three wonderful children; Amy (Graduated from Auburn with a degree in Speech Language Pathology and now works with a local school system as the speech pathologist for age 3 through 3rd grade), Trey (Has been called to ministry and is preparing in Louisville, KY), and Britton (Has been called to ministry and is also in Louisville, KY). The picture is from March 31, 2012 of Amy’s wedding.

I received a Bachelor degree from Samford University in Accounting, a Master of Divinity from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Beeson Divinity School of Samford University. For a short time I was able to fulfill my lifelong desire to play college football at The University of Southern Mississippi. I chose to leave USM after a knee injury which led to me graduating from Samford.

I have been a pastor since 1989 serving churches in Mississippi and Alabama. I count it a great honor to have been called by God to pastor, shepherd, and lead His people in the local congregation. The greatest joy of my life is seeing God open the eyes of people’s heart to know Him. The main focus of my call are: Prayer, Preaching, and People (Not necessarily in that order all the time!).

Important Note About My Blog. I do not necessarily agree in total with the views expressed by links and blogs found on my site. They are just part of my eclectic reading and surfing experiences. This blog is a forum for reflection to encourage people in the Christian faith and explore the applications of theology. Now for a thumbnail sketch of my ministry experiences…

God’s Dealings With Me (Cf., Acts 14:27)

Every life is a story of events, circumstances, blessings, joys, hardships, and victories… all by God’s grace and providence.

I left my last place of ministry (11/2012) after leading them to embrace a plan to address a 20+ year decline due to a changed community. Even though the plan was strongly supported by the membership (80%+), some were against it passionately. Significant dissension found its way into the church and I decided to leave rather than be the flash point for Christ and church getting a bad name. My mindset for making this decision is in the paragraph below.

The first three churches God sent me to serve fired the pastor prior to me (Two had split, one hadn’t). By God’s grace He blessed each congregation during my tenure by human standards of success. Seeing the hurt and turmoil conflict had on churches made me decide before I would be a party to church turmoil, I would walk away… which I have done. My reasoning is that the Church is the Bride of Christ and as such is to be treated with utmost respect and dignity. If I believed leaving would speed healing and (More importantly) protect the name of Christ in the community, I would do whatever I could. Still, one church terminated the pastor after me in 2012 after he served two years. As an interim, I served a church that forced three staff to resign prior to my arrival (During my tenure there was great joy and peace among God’s people, by His grace!). It seems my ministry to this point is to difficult, wounded, and hurting congregations (A “Cave” ministry of sorts. CLICK HERE to read a message on this idea.). From these experiences I learned the importance of being patient with congregations, the centrality of forgiveness and reconciliation, and most of all love.

God has first and foremost called me to encourage, disciple, and strengthen God’s people to do the work of the ministry. Therefore I invest a lot of time in study and seeking God through prayer for the good of the fellowship I am called to shepherd. I tend to be deliberate in my leadership style by taking time to understand the church’s history, personality, and experiences before embarking on any plans.

God willing, I will help the church to do several things: 1) Emphasize prayer; 2) Encourage the church through organized reading of the Scripture; 3) Support the health of the congregation through fellowship gatherings; and most importantly 4) Preach the Gospel faithfully.

With time and experience I hope that I have matured and fine tuned my approach to ministry. I thank God for all the churches and experience I’ve been through. I would like to think that at this point in my ministerial life, I have a set of gifts, tools, and abilities to be of benefit for the Kingdom. My prayer is for God to do whatever HE desires in whatever manner HE chooses to bring Himself glory. Anything that can be seen as good in my ministry life is purely because of God’s grace and mercy alone!

My desire for serving is found in Colossians 1:28-29, “Him (Jesus) we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. 29 For this I toil, struggling with all His energy that He powerfully works within me.”

My email address is: pokingthefire@gmail.com