Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

March 6, 2012

Ministry great change of pace for youth pastor

Noteworthy Neighbor

Ezra Mann
Pauls Valley Democrat

Pauls Valley, Oklahoma — Keeping the flow of ministry going in any community not only requires contributions from every member of the congregation, but encouraging focus to be picked up and carried by on by each new generation.

Though members of Trinity Baptist Church of Pauls Valley had every reason to look to who would be their next senior pastor, there was also as a great a need in guiding their youth, an answer they found in recent hire, Jordan Henderson. For the 29-year-old, it’s a chance for his first full time position in this vocational field and something he carries on after spending two and a half years at Enterprise Baptist Church in Norman.

“I knew God was calling me into full time youth ministry,” said Henderson, who is joined by his wife Courtney. “This is where I ended up.”

Henderson was first inspired to go toward a faith based career in 2008 after going on a mission trip that summer in Tulsa. It was during his experiences teaching high school students at vacation bible school when repeated questions about whether he was already a minister became a gradual thinking process leading toward this key change in his life.

A growing process, Henderson’s time was previously dedicated to a job working for Farmers Insurance where he did not have that sense of inner satisfaction, eventually splitting time with church work and now is full time. He thanks the pastor of his church for helping him prepare to greet youth who are just as eager to be taught as he is ready to lead.

“There were several individuals who asked and I really got to thinking about what I should be doing,” said Henderson, who officially started at the church March 1st after a search committee voted to hire him in February. “I told my pastor I felt I was called into vocational ministry.”

Henderson’s goals while he is here is to help grow the group of kids spiritually and offer it through teaching of scripture, small groups, local ministry projects as well as retreats. What he’s enjoyed the most so far is friendships he gets to develop with students and how each relationship is proof how every day is a welcome change.

For the time being, Henderson will commute from where he lives with his wife in Noble, but the couple plan to try and sell their home and move into the parsonage that is being fixed up by the church. He will also bring with him his love for NASCAR, Scuba Diving and walking their three dogs on a regular basis.

Eventually Henderson hopes to go to seminary after remaining student loans are paid off, though is fine remaining here for as long as necessary. It will give him time to focus as much as possible on a town to which he is already forming an attachment.

“My passions are really what it means to walk with Jesus every day,” said Henderson. “I really hope to disciple the students and help them get grounded in their faith.”