Father-Son Pairs Offer Invocations with Executive Committee

Cleveland, TN–In his thrust to celebrate the Jeremiah Generation and the passing of ministry mantles, General Overseer Tim Hill is inviting parents and children called to the ministry to pray the invocation at the monthly gatherings of the Church of God Executive Committee.

Last month, Pastor Ray Hurt of the Princeton, West Virginia Church of God and his son, James, were the first to be honored with this initiative. The two were phoned in to the March 5 meeting via Skype, where they interacted with members of the Executive Committee before offering a short devotion and invocation. On Tuesday, April 2, Rev. Mitchell Tolle and his son, Mitchell Tolle Jr., were guests during the Committee meeting.

General Overseer Tim Hill, left, is joined by the Executive Committee and via Skype by Mitchell Tolle, and Mitchell Tolle, Jr. on April 2 (click photo to enlarge)

“It has been such a blessing to hear from these two father-son teams,” Hill commented. “Generational mantles have been passed all along, but it is refreshing to be reminded that in this day and age parents still have such a godly influence on their children that they follow their paths into ministry. I have witnessed how the call of God to preach the gospel and lead the church is just as alive with this generation as it has been for generations past.”

The pairs called upon to pray represent the children who may just be starting in ministry following in their parent’s footsteps or passing of the pastoral pulpit from one to the other. In the most recent issue of Engage (January 2019, cogengage.org), a series was begun highlighting real-life transitions of churches to the next generation. The first feature was written by Jeremy McGinnis, who grew up in the church his father Gerald McGinnis planted, Park West in Knoxville, Tennessee. Jeremy shared the essence of his journey to the Park West pulpit in the title, “From Errand Boy to Senior Pastor.”

On March 17 a pastoral transition took place at the South Omaha Church of God that Marcia Stigile described in a Facebook post: “It was an honor to be at the South Omaha Church of God this morning for the passing of the mantle as the legacy continues to enlarge. Brad & Ashley Riddle received the passing of the mantle from his parents, Ron & Patty Riddle who have pastored this congregation for 26 years. Prior to that, his dad, Ronald C. Riddle, pastored for 27 years. Brad & Ashley will be third generation lead pastors and Michael Stigile & I are excited to see the future unfold.” Michael Stigile serves as administrative bishop for the Midlands Region.

Hill stated that this feature of the Executive Committee meetings will continue, “for as long as we have fathers and sons – or mothers and daughters, for that matter – who are acting on the call to ministry.”

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