By Christy Porter, Managing Editor
Reverend Gary Parker has joined the New Life Free Will Baptist Church as its new pastor and will begin his leadership role on Sunday, May 15. He and his wife, Sharon, have both called the St. Louis area home, and Gary lived for a short time in Salem.
Gary accepted the call to the ministry in 1983, at the DeSoto Baptist Church. He began his ministry in Waynesville, continued in Monett, St. Louis, and prior to coming to Licking, in Desloge. He and Sharon also did evangelism work at revivals and Gary did fill in pastorates for five years before returning to the ministry in Desloge.
Gary was saved in 1972, and over the years participated in his faith fellowship as a Sunday school teacher, children’s church director, deacon and youth director. While in Waynesville he graduated from Liberty University in a home based biblical course. Gary was on the State General Board for several years, as well as the State Youth Camp Board for many years where he also served as Chairman of the Board for a time.
Sharon is active in the Ladies’ Ministry, Women Active for Christ (WAC), and the Free Will Baptist Women’s organization; she always enjoys the women’s retreat in Branson.
The couple is in agreement when they say, “You never know where God is going to put you.”
They are eager to begin their work with the church and community, and plan to stay.
The Parkers have been married for 56 years, have a son, a daughter, six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
“The New Life Free Will Baptist Church family is so happy to have their pastoral position filled by Rev. Gary Parker and wife, Sharon,” said the New Life Free Will Baptist Church membership.
New Life Free Will Baptist Church is located at 321 N. Main St., Licking, and holds services Sunday morning and evening, as well as a Wednesday evening service.