The Calling

NEWS TALK 94.1  |  Podcast , ±24 min episodes every 1 week, 6 days  | 
All across the Upper Cumberland, there are everyday people who are lead to do more than everyday things.

Accepting the call to become a minister, a preacher or an evangelist. Feeling lead to volunteer time to work with or even start a charitable group or organization. We introduce you to some of these local people who are living a life they felt drawn to on The Calling.

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Meet Dr. Jason Groe

Dr. Jason Groe grew up as the grandson of a pastor in Murfreesboro. Despite not growing up directly in a preacher's family, he always felt the call to ministry from a very young age. At the age of 14 he became the interim pastor of a church in Woodbury when the pastor would not be able to make it to sermons due to his occupation, and by the age of 16 he was called pastor of the church. He joins Dena Hornby to discuss his call to ministry, and the steps he took that led him to becoming Senior Pastor of Poplar Grove Baptist Church in Cookeville.

Meet Reverend Lanita Monroe

Reverend Lanita Monroe grew up in Nashville, the youngest of three girls, to a pastor father and a Christian educating mother. Due to her father's career, church was like a second home to her, and if the doors were open, she and her family were there. At first, she never thought she would join the clergy because of how shy and scared she was, and due to the fact that she was more than happy working behind the scenes as a part time church secretary. But much like others before her, she felt and pursued the call to ministry with the support of her children. She joins Denna Hornby to share her experiences in ministry that led her to becoming Senior Pastor of Fairfield Glade United Methodist Church.

Meet Dr. Jerry Huffman

Dr. Jerry Huffman grew up in Kentucky, the son of a Baptist preacher. He came from a family of pastors and missionaries, and as a teenager, he didn't want to be like everyone else in his profession. During college, he began to feel a call to ministry, but it wasn't until he began receiving requests from other pastors, some he didn't know, who all said that God put it on them to ask him to come and preach for them that he truly felt his call to ministry. He joins Denna Hornby to share his experiences pastoring in Texas for 11 years, Kentucky, and now Tennessee where he is senior pastor of Monterey First Baptist Church.

Meet Steven Lee

Steven Lee grew up in Waverly, TN coming from a long line of ministers. His paternal grandparents were traveling evangelists for the Church of God of Prophecy, and his father eventually felt the call to ministry later in his life when Steven was just a baby. Ever since he was a young teenager, Steven always felt a fascination with reading the Bible and attending Sunday service - even keeping track of how many times he has had to miss Sunday service in his entire life. He joins Denna Hornby to discuss how a Sunday school teacher helped him fall in love with reading scripture, and inspired him to follow his call to ministry where he is now senior pastor of Crossville First United Methodist Church.

Meet Mike Waldrop

Mike Waldrop grew up in Georgia where he loved to play sports as a kid before growing up and joining the Air Force. He felt the call to go into ministry, and joined the Baptist Student Union in college, but his obligations and responsibilities with the Air Force took him on a different path in life. Years later, during times where he felt spiritual deprivation, he would attend a retreat where he felt the call to ministry once again. Join Denna Hornby as she learns more about one of the newest ministers in the Upper Cumberland area where he is now pastor of Livingston United Methodist Fellowship.

Meet Reverend Rick Frazier

Reverend Rick Frazier had a great childhood growing up in Nashville with a family that was very active and involved in church. Ever since he was a young boy, he could sense a call to ministry that persisted all the way through high school. He would go on to further his education, and end up graduating from Emmanuel Bible College in Nashville. He joins Denna Hornby to discuss how his calling has led him to now be pastor of both Lancaster United Methodist Church, and Brush Creek United Methodist Church.

Meet Reverend Michael McLaughlin

Knoxville native and UT graduate Michael McLaughlin found work in Kentucky in the mental health field where he and his wife started attending First Presbyterian Church in Somerset, KY. What began as helping out with the youth Sunday school led to Michael becoming involved with more and more church activities - such as choir. In 2005, he would go on to attend Columbia Theological Seminar before being called to serve at several churches in Tennessee and Mississippi. Now, Reverend Michael McLaughlin serves as senior pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Cookeville. He joins Denna Hornby this week to share the story of his calling.

Meet Tim Dunavant

Tim Dunavant went from having a church filled life growing up in a small town to living in Nashville where his family stopped going to church, and all things religious fell to the wayside. At the age of 17, he began experimenting with alcohol and drugs, which led to a trouble filled life in his 20s where he found himself in jail 30 times before redemption found him. He joins Denna Hornby to share his story about how he finally agreed to read the Bible in jail, and found out a lot about not only God, but about himself and who he wanted to become as a person. Through this experience, he found his calling, and is now pastor of Smith Memorial United Methodist Church in Jackson County and Gainesboro United Methodist Church in Gainesboro.

Meet John Purdue

John Purdue grew up in the college town of Lexington, Kentucky where he could ride his bike right into the campus of the University of Kentucky, and most of his neighbors were professors. Inspired by his experiences at church camp growing up, God led him to eventually make the switch from a career in banking to following the call to ministry. He joins Denna Hornby to share his story, and how he made the move from Kentucky to becoming the Senior Pastor at First United Methodist Church of McMinnville.

Meet Mark Gaw

Born and raised in Cookeville, Mark Gaw made the decision to not go into his family's real estate business due to a lack of passion. Leading music in church was where his passion lied, and he spent 11 years as an Associate Pastor in Music. With the word of God becoming his passion over leading music, those 11 years helped prepare him for his true calling - to be a preacher. He joins Denna Hornby to share his life's journey in faith that has led him to become the Senior Pastor of Washington Avenue Baptist Church in Cookeville since 1999.

Meet Buddy Johnson

Buddy Johnson is the son of a preacher who, despite being inspired by his father's storytelling and preaching abilities growing up, remained adamant that he would not follow in his father's footsteps and go into ministry. One day he realized that the ministry was his calling, and would go on to earn degrees in bible and New Testament from Lipscomb University and Freed-Hardeman University, respectively. He joins Denna Hornby to talk about his loving family, and to share the story of his calling which has led him to be Minister of Jefferson Avenue Church of Christ in Cookeville.

Meet Scott Parkison

As a young man, Scott Parkison was a high school dropout who found himself in with the wrong crowds and down on hard times with a feeling that his life was going nowhere. On January 29, 1991, God came to him when he was at his lowest while he was in jail, and he called to Jesus to save him. He immediately requested a bible, and managed to read it from cover to cover in just three and a half weeks. From that day on, Scott's life was radically changed with his newfound calling in life. He joins Denna Hornboy to share his life story, and the events that led him to follow his calling where he is now Senior Pastor of Steven Street Baptist in Cookeville.

39 episodes

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