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Local church welcomes new pastor

David Harrison Jr.

Local church welcomes new pastor
February 07
01:00 2019

2019 marked a new beginning for the congregation of First Christian Church of Winston-Salem.  David Harrison Jr. has been welcomed as the new senior pastor of the church.

Harrison is not new to the church, as he has been around the congregation for several years directing the food pantry. So when the opportunity came open, he decided to give it a shot.

“They had an interim pastor during those years I was running the pantry, but seeing how alive this church was and the love I felt when I came here and seeing how much they concentrated on community work, the more time went by, the more I really starting thinking this would be a great place to be,” said Harrison.

“Last year they opened up the pastor search and I prayed about it because I was non-denominational and coming to a Disciples of Christ church, it was a change.”

Through his non-profit work with the food pantry, Harrison was able to meet many individuals of the faith prior to taking over as senior pastor of First Christian. “The more I thought about the principles and the theology of what we do, the more I realized this is where I need to be.

“I put in the application, interviewed quite a bit, and here I am. It has really been a miraculous ride and I could not be happier about the church, especially since what this church has meant to the community over the years.”

The hiring of Harrison holds that much more importance because he is the first African-American to hold the post as senior pastor of this church in its 129-year history. The congregation is primarily Caucasian.

“We are a church that is passionate about our work,” he says. “I think me being the pastor here is a reflection of this church and what we believe. There is a pride in being the first African-American pastor, but I am a humble person and it’s really all about God.”

“I think this just reflects that we are open to continue to grow, continue to change and continue to respond to the needs of the community. I take great pride in this, but it’s more about how many lives can we touch, change and impact.”

Harrison said he was somewhat apprehensive about the move to a denominational church, but once he did his research, he began to realize and see the love of God in the church and all of the apprehension went away.

“I felt like I was a part of this community and this community means everything to me,” he said. “To find a church that has put a stake in the ground for so many years, it was an amazing thing.”

Living beyond the walls of the church is one of the major focus points for Harrison, he said.  “My main goal is to make sure we are out in the community making change, tangible change,” he said.

Since taking over as senior pastor, Harrison has received nothing but positive responses from his congregation. “We are a church that has been here for some time and I feel like we have deep roots to this town, and I feel like there is still more work for us to do and more lives for us to change.”

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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