We Welcome Macedonian Ministry’s 2017 Cohort, Oxford, NC!

Making Progress with God’s Calling

“The Oxford North Carolina Cohort, located in the upper piedmont region of the State, is nestled between a rural and urban setting. We show respect to Oxford’s past, as we spend much time in more progressive Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill. We are a diverse group in age and race, with one female who holds her own in all situations. Some of our members claim allegiance to Duke, Shaw and Apex Schools of Divinity, where they are presently being trained to meet congregational challenges that are facing Pastors everywhere. Those enrolled put to practice what they learn in seminary in a real kind of way. The Macedonian Ministry Cohort experience is rich in opportunities, and the lessons learned from each other strengthen our individual resolve to be what God has called us to be, ‘Men and women of God in these trying times.'” – Pastor Willie Darby, Cohort Mentor

Willie Darby

Mentor, Penn Avenue Baptist Church

It presented itself as an interesting opportunity and I’m already involved, in some capacity, of bringing pastors and ministers together. This gave me a better opportunity to bring more of a variety of ministers together and I’m excited to see what we can accomplish as a group through the discussions, tackling problems, and tacking issues in the community. I thought this was just an excellent opportunity!

Glenn Stallsmith

Cohort Member, Salem United Methodist Church

I was really looking forward to the opportunity to meeting with other pastors who are outside of the United Methodist system. I have great opportunities to meet with my other Methodist colleagues but this is a great opportunity to see how other traditions of pastors prepare, lead worship, preach. I’m so glad that I said ‘yes’ because I’ve gained lots of perspective through the cross-pollination of this cohort.

Elvin Curtis

Cohort Member, Speak Life Church House of Ministries

I said yes to be a part of this cohort because I wanted to be a part of a diverse ministerial group. I had been asked to join other groups but for some reason I never did. This group was different.  I liked that every cohort meeting involved study, training, and although there is always fellowship, it’s not a ‘social’ event. I feel like there is educational impartation and, experienced minister and pastors that you can draw on for information and support, peer support. It’s a comforting place because pastors have similar church experiences and problems.

Spotswood Burrwell, Jr.

Cohort Member, New Hope Ministry Baptist Church

I feel that being a part of this cohort will allow me to grow due to the diversity of pastors and ministers. The variety of ministries in this group will help us glean and learn from one another…it will actually help us to be better pastors and minister better. The diversity is good for all of us.”

Lee Miller

Cohort Member, Rehoboth United Methodist Church

As a new clergy in my first appointment, not native to North Carolina, I grew up in Minnesota, I felt like this was the best way to connect with people who had a lot of knowledge, and to get to know a community I know nothing about. So,when Glenn asked me to be a part of this cohort, it seemed like a great opportunity.

John Gooch

Cohort Member, Jerusalem Baptist Church

I wanted to be a part of this cohort because it’s an opportunity to fellowship with other ministers and to get their ideas and to share with one another. I think it will help us grow closer and allow us to minister to other people.

Lacy Joyner

Cohort Member, First Baptist Church, Oxford

I think clergy need more fellowship. To be able to learn and hear experiences from other ministers, was largely why I wanted to be a part of this cohort.

Mark Gustafson

Cohort Member, Banks United Methodist Church

As a second-career pastor, I spent 20 years in engineering and now I’m in the pulpit, I was asked to be a part of this cohort a few months after I started and felt it was a wonderful opportunity. I love the diversity, I love the knowledge that I glean from the group, and I couldn’t be happier.

Sandy Smith

Cohort Member, Davis Chapel Baptist Church

I said yes to be a part of this cohort because of the brotherhood. Being around people who share the same experiences when it comes to pastoring and being able to share with one another was a great opportunity.