New Bethel Baptist Church has been pastor-less for nine months since the Rev. Joe Dixon retired in August. We’ve been fortunate in having good speakers for supply, and we’ve had an interim for a few months now, but we’ve all had the feeling that a herd of sheep undoubtedly has when its shepherd goes on vacation.

Now, there’s light at the end of the tunnel. On Sunday morning, Bill Dixon, acting in J.D. Thys’ place as chairman of the Search Committee, made an announcement: The committee, meeting last Monday night at the Bill Dixon home and laboring until nearly 11 p.m., had unanimously agreed to call interim Jasper Ligon as pastor.

Jasper was present at the meeting with his wife, Hollie. A tentative agreement was reached though details are still to be worked out. The congregation will have time to consider the recommendation and will finally vote by secret ballot on June 10. Ligon assures the church that should he not receive a favorable vote from the congregation, he will continue to serve as an interim until a different choice is made.

However, judging from the enthusiasm shown Sunday morning, there is little danger of Ligon not being approved. I’ve heard so many say, “I’ve sure been praying that Jasper would become our pastor, and I feel like he’s the man God has chosen for us.”

Ligon was commissioned as a chaplain by the North American Mission Board several months ago. His regular job is as chaplain for McCortney Family Hospice.

His wife is Hollie J. Ligon, a graduate of Keota High School. She received her Associate degree in biology and chemistry in 1998 from Carl Albert State College in Poteau. The couple was married on Valentine’s Day in 1998. She graduated from East Central with a bachelor of science in education, majoring in special education. She currently teaches as the Washington Grade Center in Ada and is pursuing a master’s degree at ECU. The Ligons have four sons: Noah, 7; Aaron, 5; Caleb, 4; and Joshua, l.

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