Local pastor helps train new ministers
By John Earp
One of the hats this reporter wears, besides pastoring and driving two school bus routes, involves serving as the coordinator for the Ministerial Internship Program of the Church of God in the New Mexico and El Paso Region. This involves helping typically young ministers develop, under the tutelage of a local pastor, in order to become an ordained minister. Subjects covered in the interactive teaching sessions includes things such as leadership development, time management, pastoral counseling, as well as biblical and doctrinal studies. This year’s class includes ministers from as far away as Silver City and Belen, as well as Jal’s own Aaron and Adriana Faulkner. Aaron has served as youth pastor at Jal Church of God for several years. Adriana serves in the areas of children’s ministry as an assistant to Andrea May as well as leading the church’s drama team. The Ministerial Internship Program is a nine-month program. Once completed, the candidates are able to take the test for ordination with the Church of God, an international denomination of over 7 million members headquartered in Cleveland, TN.
This past Saturday, we traveled from Jal to Las Cruces to hold the first MIP seminar for the 2023-2024 class. Las Cruces was chosen as a good and more or less central location for all participants. I was honored and blessed to be appointed to this position by the New Mexico/El Paso Regional Administrative Bishop, Bro. James Binion. The Church of God is an evangelical Pentecostal denomination with roots in the 19th century Holiness Movement and in the Pentecostal revival which began in the early 20th century in Topeka, KS, quickly spreading to Houston, Los Angeles, and to the border between Tennessee and North Carolina known as the Unicoi Mountains, where a handful of people united in 1886 to form a baptistic holiness organization then known as the Christian Union, with the stated goals of the evangelization of the world and the unity of all true Christians.