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Green answers call, finds blessings

Earnest Green has never felt so honored or so blessed.

On Sunday, he will be “appreciated” for his 20 years as pastor of Bougahouma Missionary Baptist Church in Gordonville.

His ministry has been wonderfully blessed. If Green had had his way, he would never have gone to Bougahouma. But God had His way with Green.

“And God’s way is the best way,” Green said with a smile.

The objection that Green had to serving Bougahouma Missionary Baptist Church was the 60-mile distance from his home in Troy.

“I just didn’t want to make that long drive because it could be several times a week but, when God calls you to a place, that is where you need to go,” Green said.

God knew how to deal with Green because it took more than a hint of God’s call for Green to answer.

“God was calling me to the ministry but it was just a hint and I can’t take a hint,” Green said, laughing. “I kept asking God, ‘Are you sure?’ But God kept tugging at my heart. One Sunday I told my pastor that I needed to talk to him after the service. He said he didn’t need to talk to me. He knew what I wanted. During the service he announced that I had been called to preach. He took me under his wings and helped me along.”

When Green was licensed to preach, he was 31 years old. He remembers his first sermon like he preached it yesterday.

“It was the first Sunday in June 1987 at Old Mount Pleasant,” he said. “The title of the sermon was ‘Where is your faith?’”

Green continued his education and earned a degree in theology and received his “training” at St. Peter Missionary Baptist Church. He visited Bougahouma and filled in several times there but then announced to his wife, Gail, “I’m not going back.”

“It was just too far, too far,” Green said.

Then, on the third Sunday in July, 20 years ago, Green was in Mobile and got the call to pastor Bougahouma Missionary Baptist Church. The call wasn’t a hint. It was a knock on his heart and he answered God’s call.

Serving Bougahouma has been such a blessing that Green can’t put it into word. The church has between 300 and 500 people in attendance each Sunday. The church has a large children’s ministry and a monthly prison ministry. And, for some reason, 60 miles from home doesn’t seem quite so far.

Green knows that he is where God wants him to be. It is his prayer that he never stands in the way of God’s leading and directing him and that he will always be submissive to God’s will.

“God has richly blessed me and my family and serving the people of Bougahouma has been such a blessing,” he said. “I hope that my ministry has been a blessing to those wonderful people that I was called to serve.”