Park Memorial Methodist Church welcomes new pastor

Published 10:00 pm Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Park Memorial United Methodist Church is the largest church that the Rev. Danny Arnold has pastored. Actually almost twice a large so he is having to take a different approach to his ministry.

“In a smaller church, in a month or so, I’ve been able to know all of the members and their family connections,” Arnold said. “Here, with a membership of 730, I haven’t been able to do that … yet.”

Arnold’s first official day at Park Memorial was July 1, 2008. He came to Troy from Moundville where he had pastored the Methodist church there for three years.

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“I’ve served several churches in Alabama and Florida during my 27 years in the ministry,” Arnold said. “And, I’m familiar with the Troy area because I served churches in Brantley and Glenwood in the 1980s. I’m excited to come back to Troy.”

Arnold is originally from Dothan. He graduated from Dothan High School in 1974 and attended Asbury College in Wilmore, Ken.

“Asbury is a Christian college and that’s why I chose it,” Arnold said. “For me, the call to the ministry was a growing thing. I accepted Christ when I was quite young. When I was in the seventh grade, I had this strong conviction that God wanted me to go into the ministry. I was involved in Christian youth groups all through junior and senior high school and my conviction was confirmed. There was no dramatic moment when I felt God’s call. I just knew.”

Arnold said Park Memorial is a tremendous church where so many good things are going on that his first role is that of a learner.

“I’m getting to know the people and that takes time,” he said. “In a smaller church, the membership is like one cell or one family. Here, with two services, I’m have to try a different approach, especially as far as pastor visitation. I realize that I can’t see as many people as I want and that I can’t see everybody on a regular basis. So I’ll have to adjust to that. It’s different but I’m enjoying the challenges. Hopefully, in a few months I’ll know everybody and their family connections.”

However, when he steps behind the pulpit, it will be business as usual for Arnold.

“Preaching is my favorite thing,” he said. “I’m a biblical preacher. I’m true to the text. I consider myself a preacher and a teacher.

“I like working with – teaching – small groups outside the pulpit. That is a big part of my ministry.”

Arnold said Park Memorial is doing so many good things already that he is going to continue to play the role of a learner before injecting some of his ideas into the programs.

“Troy is a growing area and Park Memorial plays a strong role in ministering to the needs of the area,” he said. “I would like to see us be more involved in ministering to the university students. There’s tremendous potential there. And, I would like for us to be more involved with the campus Wesley Foundation.”

Arnold, who prefers to be called, “Brother Danny,” said he and his wife, Alice, are enjoying being in Troy and looking forward to being a part of the community as well as the Park Memorial family.

The Arnolds have two sons, Benjamin, who is a counselor in Kentucky, and Joshua, who is a student at Asbury College and plans to also be a counselor. Alice Arnold works with the Pike Regional Child Advocacy Center in Troy.