By Darrell Todd Maurina
After many years without an organized ministerial association, Clovis now has an organized fellowship with about two dozen pastors trying to work together for community improvement.
The Rev. Lance Clemmons, pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Clovis and chairman of the newly organized Clovis Christian Ministerial Alliance, said that when he came to Clovis four years ago, he and several other pastors began an informal fellowship group that provided the nucleus of the new organization.
“We had two functions, to get people together for fellowship and we also decided to get speakers to come to the group,” Clemmons said. “The pastors’ Bible study was an outgrowth of that group.”
After a number of years, the informal group voted in September to organize on a more formal basis.
“We sent out a letter encouraging pastors to come and changed our meeting place,” Clemmons said. “We wanted to organize a formal steering committee to develop a structure for the group.”
That committee elected four officers. In addition to Clemmons, the Rev. Joe Callahan of St. James Baptist Church will serve as vice chairman, the Rev. Jared Reynolds of First Church of God as secretary, and Gerald Wood, administrator and Christian education director of First Church of the Nazarene, as treasurer.
“We presented what we put together to the full body of about 25 people and they adopted it,” Clemmons said.
The group decided at its most recent meeting to begin an ecumenical Easter sunrise service and a combined Good Friday service.
“The Ministerial Alliance is also going to be more involved in the See You at the Pole event and the National Day of Prayer,” Clemmons said.
Gerald Wood, now an officer of the group, hadn’t been involved in the smaller activities that led up to the September meeting, but said he was glad to see local pastors become more organized for cooperative activities.
“Unity is very, very important in the church world,” Woods said. “That’s one of the things that Jesus prayed for, that we would be unified. We are endeavoring to bring the pastors and churches together to make a strong statement, a strong testimony to Clovis that we are interested in the spiritual life of our community.”
Wood said he expects that the Ministerial Alliance will work closely with the separate Matt. 25 organization seeking to use the old Clovis hospital site as a ministry center.
“I also think the Clovis Matt. 25 group has really encouraged and challenged the pastors,” Woods said. “That has a great deal to do with the resurgence of this ministerial association. I believe that there are great days ahead for the Ministerial Association and the city of Clovis.”