Slaughter to take reins at Forest UMC

By JAMES PHILLIPS,

The Forest United Methodist Church is happy to announce they have a new pastor. David Slaughter.  will begin his tenure as pastor at FUMC with his first sermon on Sunday, July 1.

Pastor Slaughter, and his wife Deborah, come to FUMC from Shiloh United Methodist Church in Pelahatchie where he has served as pastor for four years. The Slaughters presently reside in Rankin County but plan to make the move to Forest in the very near future.

The Slaughters will be new to the church, but they are not new to the community as Deborah has worked at Bank of Forest and has been there for around two years.

Pastor Slaughter is excited about his new role and looking forward to meeting more people from the community. “I am looking so forward to meeting people and getting to know the community,” he says. “And I am looking forward to leading the blessing of the Bearcats I have heard so much about.”

Pastor Slaughter is originally from Magee and grew up in the Jackson area. He graduated from the University of Mississippi School of Law and attended Seminary at Emory University, Candler School of Theology in Atlanta, Georgia.

Prior to attending seminary, Pastor Slaughter practiced law in Jackson and Waynesboro for 12 years. But it was his calling to be a counselor for his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ that brings him to Forest.

His family has served the Methodist Church in Mississippi for generations. “I am the third in four generations on my mother’s side to serve Methodist churches in Mississippi,” he said.

The church was not looking to fill a pastor vacancy, and current Pastor Trey Harper did not have plans to leave FUMC.However, God’s plan for both the church and Pastor Harper had a different path to travel. Pastor Harper, and the congregation, were surprised when he received an offer to fill a position on the Methodist Cabinet in Jackson.

The move, and new position in Jackson, was not planned for by Pastor Harper and his family, but he accepted the role and new challenge as God’s will and feels comfortable that his former congregation is in wonderfully capable hands.

Dr. Gayle Harrell, Chairperson of the Staff Parish Relations Committee, says, “ we are sad to see Pastor Harper go, but it was an offer he could not refuse and we wish he, and his family, the absolute best.”

The search to fill the pastor vacancy at FUMC did not take long to fill as all parties believe that the timing was right and everything just fell into place like it was meant to be. “Pastor Harper was not planning on leaving and we were all shocked and surprised, but it was ‘a Godsend’ to have Pastor Slaughter ready to come to Forest,” Dr. Harrell explains.

Pastor Slaughter is excited to get started at FUMC and would like to see as many people as possible in the pews on July 1, and every Sunday thereafter.  He is excited about many of the programs already going on at FUMC and cannot wait to be a part of the church family. He, and his wife, plan to remain at FUMC and in Forest for as long as possible, and that he says, “is up to the Lord.”