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I was excited to join Southland’s staff in December of 2011 after previously serving 22 years at another church and 1 year with a company in the Chicago area. I love providing pastoral care for the Richmond Road Campus, which includes Prayer Team, connection with those desiring to be baptized, pastoral counseling, hospital visits, weddings and funerals. My parents joined Southland in November of 1969, so serving at my home church is a huge honor. Southland’s founding pastor, Wayne B. Smith, and many staff members are the reason I’m in ministry. They made church fun and accessible, but they also exemplified what it meant to be faithful. Wayne personally invited me to lunch and wept as he encouraged me to accept the call of ministry. I was ordained into ministry by the Elders 25 years ago to the day as I write this. Wayne told the story once of a long-winded guest preacher who visited Southland and preached for an hour and twenty minutes. A guy got up during the service and started walking out. An usher asked where he was going. He said, “I’m going to get a haircut.” The usher asked, “Why didn’t you get one before you came?” The man said, “I didn’t need it.” “No one ever heard a bad, short sermon.” -Wayne Smith
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