Members say it was divine intervention that sent Dr. Argile Smith, the new senior pastor of the First Baptist Church of Biloxi, their way.
"God has just provided the right man at the right time for the job, and it's just amazing," said member Darrell Lee.
The church welcomed Smith and his wife Connie, as their new first family during an early morning service at the church.
Smith says long before he was called to be pastor, members of his family felt very close to First Baptist.
"Before she died, when my mother was shut-in years ago, she was able to watch the televised worship service every Sunday, and she was completely absorbed in what Dr. Frank Gunn had to say Sunday after Sunday. For me, it is an honor to be able to follow along in that tradition here in this church," said Smith.
Members believe Smith is the right man to lead, what they call, a mission-focused church.
"Being without a pastor for a year, we haven't had a hard-time continuing in that direction. But it's good to have a new leader, somebody with experience in that department, who can help us to continue to grow and continue on with our mission," said Lee.
"I think we're going to have a good year with him, and I think God has blessed us all," says member Scott Dunaway.
Smith preached his first sermon during Sunday's early morning service, the title, "Christ is in Charge."
"I had a great peace about preaching this morning, because the issue at hand isn't necessarily yours truly, it's the person and work of Jesus our Savior. I'm really humbled over the fact I'm the pastor of First Baptist Church of Biloxi," says Smith.
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