By Andrew Cowart
A beautiful event – a Kingdom event – took place at CCC last Friday evening. Three people – missionaries Chance and Dee Dee Galloway, and CCC staffer Kelli Wommack – took a big step further along the walk God has called them to by becoming ordained in the Free Methodist Church.
The February 24 ordination service was held in conjunction with the FMC's Georgia/Alabama Annual Conference.
FMC ordination is much more than a formality. When a person is ordained, we are affirming their call into ministry for themselves and for everyone who will be following their leadership. This affirmation is a beautiful recognition of God’s call and that person’s obedience.
Kelli, CCC's Pastor of Leadership Development, described being saved at an early age, growing up in the church and sensing a call to ministry during her freshman year of college. She wanted to follow the call, but was conflicted by a belief that it was wrong for women to pursue positions of higher leadership in the church.
“Because of the way I grew up, I didn’t see women do those things, so if I did, it must be wrong," she recalled thinking.
Kelli got involved in the Free Methodist Church in 2008 and has since found freedom to follow God’s call without hesitation. ”Thank you to the Free Methodist Church for giving me the opportunity to serve in a way that I never could before," she said.
Kelli aims to be a role model for young women being called into ministry around her, and she is definitely hitting that mark.
Chance and Dee Dee are missionaries in Kyustendil, Bulgaria, where they work with the Roma people, train pastors, and are involved in anti-human trafficking and agricultural ministries.
Chance, who grew up in Phenix City, met Christ while jailed in solitary confinement. “It was there that I experienced the love of my heavenly father and surrendered to him, saying, 'Not my way anymore,'" he said.
Chance got involved in the Free Methodist Church when he met CCC Lead Pastor Keith Cowart and member Phil Webb at a Calvary Christian School football game in 2003. Of being ordained, he said, “It is a recognition by other elders and Christians that you are called to serve God." Chance certainly has obeyed that call and selflessly poured himself into the people he is serving.
Dee Dee has faced many difficult struggles during her walk with Christ, but continues to surrender to the Father as well. “I was diagnosed with cancer during the pregnancy of my second child," she said. "I was told I had to terminate the pregnancy to live; it was not my way, but His way, and Catherine was born on the International Day of Prayer.”
That attitude of surrender also is evident in her family's work in Bulgaria: “It’s an adventure," she said, "and we love living this life because it’s not our way, it’s His way.”
FMC Bishop David Roller had each ordinand place their hands on the Bible and prayed, “Take authority to minister the word of God, faithfully proclaim his word, declare his forgiveness, and shepherd his people.”
Roller explained that, "Today we are ordaining you to be imitable." Each of these people clearly has followed that call. They have walked a long path to ordination, and it's certainly not the end of the road. They will continue to serve Christ with the trust and support of the Free Methodist Church and the body of Christ.
When asked what ordination meant to them, each shared a similar response: That ordination is an encouraging recognition from the denomination and its elders that they are on the right path. Christ Community is extremely proud of the accomplishments of these ordinands and awaits in eager anticipation of their accomplishments to come.
Note: David Holt is a member and active volunteer at CCC. He shared some insightful observations after seeing the new stage design for our 2014 “Abound” theme.
As I was looking at this new addition, the following thoughts came to mind.
The wall was built with a large collection of wooden pieces – all different in size, color and age – just like the Body of Christ.
Some pieces are broken, some well-worn and others relatively new. Regardless of their condition, they now stand proud assembled as a team to the glory of God and His creativity.
Earlier in their existence, the wooden pieces were part of a smaller body (a common shipping pallet) and, in that form, may have traveled the world or may have simply stayed right here in the local area. Who knows? Only God.
But at just the right time, they were taken away from their current “ministry,” in which they were bearing many heavy burdens for the world, and re-purposed for a new ministry.
Some probably transported food. Others clothing. Many were surely used to transport beer and wine, while some may have carried cases of textbooks or Bibles to their final destination.
In their previous role, they were the backbone of commerce in the local area – doing their part to help each of us abound in the riches that our nation is afforded through God’s rich blessings.
Now, they stand as the backbone for our celebration of the abounding love that our Lord Jesus Christ has allowed us to enjoy.
What an abounding love, indeed.
The CCC Blog is a collection of writings and images from staff members and guest contributors, all pointing to the extraordinary life made possible by a relationship with Jesus.