“Do I trust God and go?” Pastor Orin Gill asked himself this when he was called as a pastor to Virginia Beach.
On October 7th, we hosted a Pastor’s Appreciation brunch in honor of October being Pastor Appreciation Month. Along with sweets served by our Chef James, we were able to hear from Pastor Orin Gill, from Saint Luke AME church—the church right across the street from Inasmuch—and from Pastor Mike Garrett, Pastor at First Presbyterian church.
Pastor Gill has been serving at Saint Luke for just about two years; he first arrived in May 2019. Fayetteville, North Carolina wasn’t a totally strange place for him, as he was here a number of years ago for his work. Pastor Gill worked with the CDC for about thirty years and finally retiring in 2013. For some of those years, he knew he wanted to be in the ministry. “I prayed God would move me to a place where pastoring would be the main focus.”
In 2013, he and his wife were living in Atlanta, and Pastor Gill’s prayers were answered. God called him to serve at a church in Virginia Beach. At that moment he felt he was at a crossroads and it tested his faith. Then he asked himself “Do I trust God and go?” His wife only encouraged him, “If you think the Lord is answering your prayers, I’ll go with you.”
Pastor Gill served his call in Virginia Beach for six years, until receiving a call to serve here in Fayetteville. He joked it was a lot different than what he remembered, but he’s glad he is here. As of now, Pastor Gill’s highlight is realizing the ministry work is creative- more so than ever with COVID-19 in our world. “It’s about being flexible and adjusting,” Pastor Gill affirms.
Pastor Garrett also had ties in Atlanta, where he served as a Senior Minister at a church for twelve years. He and his wife came to Fayetteville thinking it was short term- Pastor Garrett was called as an Interim Associate Pastor. He shares, “The Senior Pastor left so then I was the interim pastor. And then I’ll leave when the church finds a new one.” Instead, First Presbyterian decided Pastor Garret be the next one. “So, my wife and I talked about it, and we see that was a sign what we should be doing,” Pastor Garrett shared.
When thinking about his ministry, Pastor Garrett couldn’t pick just one highlight. “Well, the highlight is, I’m here! I’m trying to help the church reconnect, we worked really hard to work within the community. And I’m thinking after COVID, maybe this will be the new highlight. God has a way of using these opportunities and working them out. Maybe the highlight is now, I don’t know what the highlight is.”
Pastor Garrett compared our current state to the Israelites wandering in the wilderness: “Now we’re in the wilderness and figuring out the next new normal, but we’re on this journey together.”
And we are so appreciative of pastors who guide and direct us spiritually through each wilderness and season of darkness and everything else in between.
Thank you and many prayers on your ministry and congregations!