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Methodist pastor: ‘Brookhaven is a great place to serve’

The Rev. Lynn Mote, senior pastor of First United Methodist Church of Brookhaven, says she had “a later-in-life call to the ministry.”

She was in her 30s, a member of Centenary United Methodist in McComb, and was attending “an intense discipleship Bible study.”

“Getting deep into Bible study wakes up what God is about and what God is doing in your life, and leads to increased involvement in the church,” Mote said.

“I began to realize I was called to the ministry.”

When the church lost its youth and children’s pastor, Mote talked to the pastor and was hired.

“I didn’t have a clue what I was doing, but between mentorship by the pastor and his wife, I had a fun three years of youth and children’s ministry.”

She earned her master of divinity degree from Duke Divinity School in 2005.

“The degree is a wonderful theological education, but you learn to do ministry on the ground, on-the-job training with the Holy Spirit,” she said. “Sometimes you pass and sometimes you fail. I’m glad I don’t get a grade.”

“What I enjoy most about preaching is to find that nugget, a surprise, something that’s just ‘oh, wow!´”

Mote and her husband Ansel fell in love with Brookhaven while she was pastor of Loyd Star’s New Hope United Methodist. She also served at Sweetwater UMC in Wesson a while.

“What makes any place enjoyable is the people,” Mote said. “We have found people here to be so kind to us and supportive. Especially in this time of isolation.

“Brookhaven is a great place to serve.”

She ministered at Tupelo UMC before moving to Brookhaven.

Mote also appreciates help from her church family while her 29-year-old daughter recovers from bone cancer.

“Emily had a very large tumor in January and is recovering at home,” Mote said.

“People have been praying, bringing meals, encouraging her. She feels loved by people she has never met.”

Brooklyn UMC livestreamed services before the coronavirus pandemic.

“This has called us to up our game, our social media presence, and we hope to continue it,” Mote said. “This is an opportunity to share the word of God with people online. It’s where people are. It’s forced our hand, like we may go into the 21st Century.”

“I feel blessed and challenged to be in ministry at this particular time. I can’t help but believe God is trying very hard to re-direct the church, not that I believe God sends us a disease.”

Her hobbies are reading and spending time with a pet she received as a Christmas gift.

“I can go wildly crazy about a Teacup Yorkie named Holly,” she said. “We’re both turning into little old ladies!”

Mote doesn’t have a favorite Bible verse, but has a favorite chapter, Romans 8.

“There’s so much hope, love and acceptance,” she said. “I find the entire chapter empowering.”

 

Story by Robin Eyman