Father Jonathan Kell knows he has big shoes to fill at St. Stephen’s Reformed Episcopal Church of Flowood. He’s replacing the late Father Fred Basil, the parish’s beloved pastor who died of cancer last year.
But Kell, a former schoolteacher, wanted the position badly enough to move his family from Pennsylvania ”” a family that includes Kell and his wife, Annie’s, 15-month-old daughter and a son who was born last month. He’ll enter the pulpit focused not on growing membership but maintaining the overall health of the parish.
“It’s tough,” Kell said of relocating to a different part of the country. “We’re leaving behind our families and one of my best friends from college ”” a minister in a different denomination. But my wife, Annie, and I decided long ago that we were going to give our lives to the ministry and go where the Lord leads us.”