Spirituality

Griner named pastor of Jonesville church

Reception Saturday will welcome him and wife, Mae.


Published: Thursday, July 1, 2010 at 3:56 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, July 1, 2010 at 3:56 p.m.

When members of Pleasant Plain United Methodist Church in the Jonesville community were asked how they felt about the Rev. Milford L. Griner becoming their pastor again, they answered with a "unanimous" vote of approval.

Facts

NEW PASTOR RECEPTION

What: A reception for the Rev. Milford L. Griner to welcome him back as pastor of Pleasant Plain United Methodist Church in the Jonesville community.
When: 6 p.m. Saturday.
Where: Pleasant Plain United Methodist Church, 1910 NW 166th St.
Information: Call Linda Rush at 352-472-9394 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              352-472-9394      end_of_the_skype_highlighting or the church at 352-472-1863.

Now the church would like to extend an open invitation to the community to attend a reception to welcome Griner and his wife, Mae Griner, back to the church where he served as pastor from 1997-2003.

The reception will be held at 6 p.m. Saturday at the church, 1910 NW 166th St. in the Jonesville community.

"I am very excited to be going back there," Griner said. "We know the people there, and they know us. I count it as a blessing to be going back there."

Griner, 52, will preach his first sermon, "Free Indeed," at 11 a.m. Sunday at the church.

With Sunday being the Fourth of July and many people celebrating Independence Day, Griner will compare local and national celebrations to an opportunity to be spiritually free.

Griner, who also is the pastor of Hall Chapel United Methodist Church in the Rochelle community, will split his time between the two churches.

He will be at Pleasant Plain the first and third Sunday of the month and at Hall Chapel the second and fourth Sunday. Griner has been the pastor at Hall Chapel since 2008.

Griner was reappointed two months ago to Pleasant Plain by the Rev. Annette Pendergrass, superintendent of the North Central District Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church.

Members of the church describe Griner as a real man of God. They said they are ready for Griner to lead them once again.

"We are ecstatic and very happy with his return," said Linda Castro-Fields, a lifelong member of the church. Castro-Fields said Griner brought a lot of joy to the church when he pastored there last, and she said the church experienced growth, along with the development of a vibrant youth department.

"It was unanimous when the church was asked about his return," said Castro-Fields, chairwoman of the church's administrative council. She also said she wishes the former pastor of the church, the Rev. Theo Jackson, much success in his reappointment to a church in Ocala.

Church secretary Linda Rush, also a lifelong member of the church, said she, too, is happy to see Griner return.

"I am very happy with it," Rush said.

"He is a very good speaker, and he always has a sermon prepared on what he preaches about. I think he will help turn our church around. Plus, he is a good man of God."

Griner said his initial plans at the church are to simply "preach the gospel and take care of the members of the church."

Griner has served as pastor of several other churches in the past, including Solomon Chapel United Methodist Church in Orange Lake, New Hope United Methodist Church in Citra, Debose Chapel United Methodist Church in Reddick, Scott Memorial United Methodist Church in Lowell and Paradise United Methodist Church in Alachua.

He also has served as president of the Black Methodist Church Renewal in what was then known as the Gainesville District of the Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church and as vice president of the Florida Conference Association of Pastors and Associate Lay Members of the United Methodist Church.

For more information, call Rush at 352-472-9394 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              352-472-9394      end_of_the_skype_highlighting or the church at 352-472-1863.

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