By Clint Parker
Marshall – Calvary Worship Center was looking for a new youth pastor for their young people, but they were also looking for a church secretary as well. They filled both positions with one person who fit the bill, an eastern North Carolina man, Parker Terrell.
Terrell, 35, who is from Hillsborough, had his first Sunday at the church on Easter, but under the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” mandate he’s really not had a face-to-face with the young people of the church unless you count social media, but that hasn’t stopped him according to Calvary Worship’s Senior Pastor Rusty Smart. “He jumped right in and did Bible studies with our teens. He has kept in constant contact with me and helped in any area he could. He has joined our leadership team on our leadership Zoom meetings. He has been a huge assist.”
“It’s been a unique experience,” explains Terrell, “I haven’t even met the teenagers yet except during the interview process. So I’ve literally had to do everything online. I’ve had to come up with some unique ways to communicate with them. I’ve had to be a pastor through social media. It’s been different.”
The unusual times have not deterred Terrell’s passion for the ministry, as this is not his first youth pastor position. “I’ve been in youth ministry for five or six years and I just really felt a drawing to this area,” said Terrell. “I’m very excited to be here.”
According to Smart, “Parker answered our ad to our international church website. Which we received many…When Parker’s resume came through and seeing he was currently employed as office personnel and his youth ministry experience I knew I wanted to reach out to him to see if he would be interested in both positions that way it would get him full-time here at the church.”
When he learned that he was being considered for the position, Terrell said, “I asked God to open the door wide-open if it was meant to be and every step of the way He just made it easy and simple.”
“He [Terrell] and I had a phone interview first. I could hear his heart and passion for youth ministry and his love for teens. At that point, I began to call people that he had worked within the ministry, from former pastors, state youth directors and even reached out to some people that had worked with him in state youth camps,” explained Smart. “Anyway, everyone I spoke to about Parker gave him huge reviews, and what stood out the most was everyone said he has a true heart and calling for youth ministry.”
“When you hear pastors say if I had the money to hire a youth pastor, Parker would be their first pick. That makes you feel good, as I was looking for someone with a heart and calling for Youth Ministry. Not someone to just fill the role. Ministry is tough. Parker has that calling on his life,” said Smart.
Terrell says he has a weekly Bible study with the youth and also has a weekly fun activity like a game night where they do online games and an online scavenger hunt. “When they find this [or that] in their house and then send me pictures. The first one to send me the picture gets a gift card,” he explained.
Rev. Smart states, “I must say it may seem crazy for a church to hire a staff member in a time like this with so many unknowns. However, We here at Calvary are moving forward for the Kingdom of God. Yes, we have taken precautions on some things.”
As for Terrell’s office work as the church’s secretary, Smart says, “Once Parker got here and started working in the office, he has jumped right in like he has been here for years. His office skills are superb.”
Smart went on to say, “We are super excited to have Parker join our church family and leadership team here at Calvary Worship Center. We are in a rebuilding phase of our youth ministry.