Rev. Amanda Gordon, pastor of Minor Memorial United Methodist Church in Walls, is all about breaking down walls and building bridges within the faith community.
Gordon, who pastored the flock at Minor Memorial UMC for the past seven years, arrived at the church in June of 2011, following a faith journey that encompassed several different denominations — with each one united in the staunch belief and trust in Jesus Christ.
"I grew up in the Baptist Church with my grandmother," said the affable Gordon from the spacious study of the church, located at 6120 Goodman Road in Walls. "My grandmother Jenette Hutchins was my spiritual role model," added Gordon."My grandmother had moved to the Jackson area in Byram. She had grown up in the Methodist church and became active in the Baptist church at Eastside Baptist Church. My parents were Christian but they did not go to church regularly."
Following in the footsteps of her grandmother, Gordon is a living testament to the fact that if a child is trained up in the "nurture and admonition of the Lord," he or she will not depart from it.
"When I would go home on weekends when I was in college I would go to church," Gordon recalled. "I went to Delta State and we had a college Sunday School teacher who was very influential. It was after my third year in college that my grandmother called and said that the Brandon United Methodist Church was looking for a summer youth intern. That was my first introduction to the United Methodist Church in 1999.
"I had started teaching high school math in the spring," Gordon said. "But I was young and single and I had time to work in the church. I still wasn't feeling satisfied. I knew teaching was important. I taught for a total of two and-a-half years. I decided not to sign my teaching contract for that next year. Call it an act of faith but I knew I was being called elsewhere. After teaching, I started working for an insurance company. I went through a whole discernment phase. I worked as the full-time youth ministry program director."
Then, Gordon said, she encountered what she can only describe as one of the most illuminating moments of her life.
"My light-bulb moment occurred in December of 2002," Gordon said. "I had driven the church bus for an adult Sunday School class. This woman came up to me and said she was praying that I would go to seminary."
Gordon said she knew then — at that instant — that God was calling her into the ministry. Gordon would go on to attend St. Paul School of Theology in Kansas City, Mo.
"I was still single and God was revealing his future plans for me," Gordon said. " I soon met my husband Adam Gordon, who is now the pastor at Pleasant Hill United Methodist Church, formerly at Maples United Methodist Church."
For a time, Gordon served as the former associate pastor at New Albany United Methodist Church. Her pastorate at Minor Memorial UMC is her first position as a lead pastor but Gordon said she knows this is where God called her to be.
"We have grown in our ministries and our outreach," Gordon said. "Before, it's my understanding this church had not gone on many mission trips. The Lord has called us to continue His mission both locally and across the globe."
One of the local ministries and outreach programs is the "Feed My Lambs" project.
"Feed My Lambs" is a weekend backpack meal program for children in the Walls and Lake Cormorant Elementary schools. The program provides two breakfast items, two lunch items and four snacks each weekend while school is in session from September through May.
Gordon said some children exhibit signs of fatigue and hunger at school and teachers are often alerted to the fact that many children have food insecurities.
"We pray that no child goes hungry and we pray that the program is capable to meet the children's needs," Gordon said. To donate visit www.minormemorial.org.
Amanda and Adam Gordon are the proud parents of four rabbits — "those are our children."
Litter trained, the baby rabbits have become regular members of the Gordon household.
Gordon said her positive spirit is attributed to her relationship with Jesus Christ which she says, "fills me with joy."
"No matter what happens during the day, I know that I belong to God."
Robert Lee Long is Community Editor of the DeSoto Times-Tribune. He may be contacted at email@example.com or at 662-429-6397, Ext. 252.