July 11, 2017, 5:43 PM

Mississippi in My Mind

The year was 1982. Sandra and I, married less than a year, left Texas Bible College in the rearview mirror and headed east to Mississippi. Our destination was the Pine Grove community, near Columbia, and we arrived with our possessions in tow in a U-Haul trailer.

We were welcomed to Mississippi by Pastor and Sister Charles Phillips and the congregation of Pine Grove Pentecostal Church. Though our original plan was to be there for the summer, that plan—as plans do—changed. We ended up staying for over four years, serving as the assistant to Pastor Phillips. 

Pastor and Sister Phillips and the members of the Pine Grove church were very kind to us during our time in Mississippi. We were supposed to be helping them, but they probably actually helped us more. Not only did they provide us with a place to live and a salary, they helped a young, inexperienced couple get started in Christian ministry. 

We were blessed in other ways in Mississippi. It was there that our two oldest children, Justin and Melissa, were born. It was there that we were licensed and ordained by the Mississippi District United Pentecostal Church. It was also in Mississippi that we first felt a call to Suriname, and from there that we launched into missionary work in 1986.

As I type this blog post, these and other good memories of our time in Mississippi come flooding back. I may physically be in Suriname right now, but I just went to Mississippi in my mind. It was a nice trip.

Photo Credit: Nick Youngson,