160511light-bulb-question-marks-chalkboardWho: I am John Parrott, who retired as Director of Missions in the Holston Valley Baptist Association in 2013, having served more than 18 years. Before serving as DOM, I served as a pastor. I have been involved in local-church ministry for 45 years. My wife, Kathie, is retired, having served as an educator for 31 years. We have a son and daughter-in-law and a daughter and son-law. Their families have given us five wonderful grandchildren.

What: Recently I began serving as the Interim Bivocational Ministry Specialist for the Tennessee Baptist Convention. Bro. Ray Gilder who served so faithfully and effectively in Bivocational Ministry in Tennessee retired. I will be up front and say I have never been a bivocational pastor, but I grew up in small, rural church that had a bivocational pastor. A matter of fact, the bivocational pastors in that church, who had little or no theological education, heavily influenced my life: leading me to salvation in Christ, helping me authenticate my call to gospel ministry and encouraging my theological training. If there’s anything to my ministry today, credit must be given to those bivocational pastors.

In this interim period, I am looking forward to continuing to encourage, support and challenge bivocational pastors and churches to be all they can be for the Lord Jesus Christ in our efforts together to see the lost saved, particularly in Tennessee. Because statistics tell us 65 percent of our Tennessee churches are bivocational, the five objectives of our Tennessee Baptist Convention will need the support and greatest efforts of bivocational churches. I want to join bivocational pastors and churches on a victorious journey!

When: When do we start? Let’s start now. We do not have time to waste!

Where: As an interim, it will not be easy, but I’m willing to get involved with bivocational pastors and churches all across Tennessee. I will be looking for ways to bring bivocational pastors together for prayer, encouragement and guidance in the days ahead. I want you to see me as a resource to you that is approachable and easily accessible.

How: How will I do this? My closeness to all bivocational pastors and churches will be determined by you. I will be available to you via email: jparrott@tnbaptist.org. You can reach me through my cell phone: 423-921-2488. You can find me on Facebook. Of course, I will be using the same means of communication to make contact with many of you in the days ahead.

Why: Why do I do this? Because I love bivocational preachers and pastors!

As we start this new journey together, we ask for your prayers. We have a great Bivocational Ministry Council that lends support to all we attempt to do for bivocational pastors and churches in Tennessee. You can find a listing of council members on our convention website: tnbaptist.org. And last, but certainly not least, I am grateful for Mrs. Cynthia Proctor, who assists me in all we attempt to do in this ministry. Please feel free to contact her via email at cproctor@tnbaptist.org.

John Parrott is the interim Biovcational Ministry Specialist with the Tennessee Baptist Convention.

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