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Pastor seeking change comes to Centenary

After serving a decade at Church of the Servant in Oklahoma City, Robert Gorrell decided it was time for a change. He recently accepted the position of senior minister at Centenary United Methodist Church.

"At my last church I was at the 'Holy Land,'" Gorrell said, "and I just felt God telling me it was time to do something different. I was at the Dead Sea when that happened. It was 10 years and I was thinking, 'Do I want to do another 10 years? What do I want to do?' I just felt like God spoke to me and said, 'It's time to go do something different.'"

So Gorrell asked the bishop of the Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church for a change. Gorrell knew he wanted something different but he didn't know where it was going to lead. Church of the Servant is one of the largest churches in the nation with a membership of 7,600 members, according to Gorrell, and he was more of an administrator there as a senior minister. He was ready to be a pastor again and wanted to go somewhere involved in various ministries.

When rotating ministers, the bishop tries to match the needs of the church with the gifts of a pastor, and Gorrell believes Centenary is a perfect match.

"I feel like it's an incredible church," Gorrell said. "Very dynamic, the people are committed and energized and very loving. It's just a joy to be here."

Gorrell's first Sunday was Dec. 4 and he was impressed with the quality of Centenary's worship, and one of his goals is for the church to have excellence in worship.

"They just do everything really well," Gorrell said. "They have a great choir. They just do it with excellence. ... Excellence in worship is hard to do. It's very hard to accomplish. I was very pleased to see they have that here."

He believes his job the first few months in his position will be to learn more about the church and to study the community of Lawton and the area. He wants to grow what the church is already doing and help it become the church it believes it is called to be.

"Every church is unique and I think it's about helping this church discover and live in their calling," Gorrell said. "And I have to be honest, I'm still learning what that is. But it's obviously very missional here and with a strong heart for reaching people in need and young people."

The Lawton Constitution

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