Tips for RTS Students: Seeking a Pastoral Call

By Charlie Wingard · August 27, 2020 · 0 Comments
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1.Don’t procrastinate. Become a candidate for ministry in your denomination as early as possible. Follow your Candidates and Credentials Committee’s instructions to a tee. Don’t put off candidacy and its prerequisites until the end of your seminary career. If you do, you will complete your degree, but be unable to accept a call because you’ve failed to follow your denomination’s requirements. That may mean you are months away from accepting a call. Show respect for your denomination and love for your family by staying on track. PCA students need to keep in mind the following: You must be a member for at least six months of a church in the presbytery where you want to come under care. You must…

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Tips for RTS Students: Managing Your Course Syllabi

By Charlie Wingard · August 20, 2020 · 0 Comments
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  Course syllabi in a moment. But first a word about calendars. Calendars do more than remind you about upcoming events. They are an essential part of planning and the effective use of time. At RTS, I want you to learn how to make your calendar an ally in completing your studies. A good place to begin is your course syllabi. When you access a syllabus for the first time, review it carefully. Then go to your calendar. Add each class session to your calendar. For example, last spring my Classics of Personal Devotion class of met on these dates: 2/3, 3/2, 3/23, and 4/20. Add all work due on the date it’s due. That includes all quizzes, tests, and…

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Tips for RTS Students: Five Important Strategies for New Seminarians

By Charlie Wingard · August 19, 2020 · 2 Comments
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  Welcome to RTS Jackson! A seminary education is challenging. It’s important that you get off to a good start. Here are five strategies for approaching life and work: 1. Find a church home quickly. Sanctification of the Lord’s day, sitting under God’s word preached, receiving the Lord’s supper, and caring for and being cared for by God’s people is indispensable to your spiritual well-being and (if married) your family’s. Don’t prolong your search. Your adjustment may be tough. Don’t be discouraged. It’s part of your preparation for ministry. All pastors work with people who struggle to fit into new church homes. A few years from now, you will too. Therefore, right now, you and your family’s struggles to fit…

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August 18, 1985: My Ordination Day

By Charlie Wingard · August 18, 2020 · 0 Comments
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  Pastors have only one first church, and the Lord couldn’t have sent me to a better one. Thirty-five years ago today I was ordained and installed as pastor of Faith Presbyterian Church in Morganton, North Carolina. At my installation service, her members promised to encourage me in my pastoral labors. That they did, and much, much more.

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First Presbyterian Church – 179 Years of Worship and Witness

By Charlie Wingard · August 15, 2020 · 2 Comments
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Today marks the 179th anniversary of the founding of  First Presbyterian Church of Yazoo City. The church has its beginnings in the protracted meetings that once played a vital role in the religious and social life of Southern protestants. Believers from various denominations, some traveling many miles on shabby, bone-jarring roads, gathered to pitch camp and enjoy several days of fellowship, fine cooking, and the preaching of God’s word. In late summer 1841, the kind Methodists of Benton, Mississippi hosted one such meeting. Gathering with them was a handful of Presbyterians from Yazoo City, who organized Yazoo Church on August 15, 1841. The church’s name was changed in 1843 to First Presbyterian Church of Yazoo City. The Rev. Richmond McInnis…

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First Presbyterian Church and the 1904 Yazoo City Fire

By Charlie Wingard · August 8, 2020 · 0 Comments
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  Nettie Clark Byrd passed  along this picture of our church after the 1904 fire. The conflagration left most of Yazoo City in ruins, including this structure at the southwest corner of Main and Broadway. A new church building, our current meeting place, was erected in 1905 on the corner of North Washington Street and Powell. Three thoughts come to mind when I see this picture: 1. All buildings are impermanent. No matter how grand, the time will come when they succumb to natural disaster, man-made destruction, or decay. Our church, devastated by fire, reminds me that we are God’s pilgrim people, citizens of heaven, living outside the heavenly city “that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God.” Our…

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Future Pastors Need Mentors

By Charlie Wingard · July 24, 2020 · 0 Comments
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We all need mentors. With so many voices telling us what to do, it’s vitally important that we have godly, thoughtful, experienced people showing us what to do. Preparing for a life in ministry is demanding work—and I’m not just talking about your seminary workload. You need real-life pastoral experience under the direction of a mentor. I serve as director of field education at Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi. Much of my work involves talking to students about their relationships with their pastoral mentors. Since 1987, I’ve mentored men preparing for ordination. While serving on Boston’s North Shore, I mentored many men in the Gordon-Conwell field education program. Before coming to RTS, I employed men pursuing ordination. Mentoring has been a key part…

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A Steep Learning Curve

By Charlie Wingard · June 23, 2020 · 0 Comments
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My first experience in a youth group was leading it. In 1981-82 I served as Youth Director at the Reformed Church in America congregation in Feasterville, Pennsylvania. I was a student at Princeton Theological Seminary. The learning curve was steep. While in high school, I did not attend a youth group. In fact, I was the only student in my Sunday School class back at my home church in Rock Island, Tennessee. Each week my teacher, Barbara Cornett, brought a carefully prepared lesson just for me. She was a model of diligent Christian service. I hope these students benefitted from what I learned from her.

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