By Terry Harpole
MABEN — The old saying “While the cat is gone, the mice will play” did not have any meaning at all on Feb. 10 at two United Methodist churches in this area.
The United Methodist churches have a program called Pulpit Swap.
On Feb. 10, the Rev. Scarlet Shepperd, who is in her fourth year as pastor at Maben, filled the pulpit at her home church, where she was a member when she answered the call to preach: Flower Ridge United Methodist near Louisville.
The Rev. Larry Haggard, who is in his seventh year as pastor of Flower Ridge and was the pastor there when Shepperd answered the call, filled the pulpit at Maben.
This was a rainy day and some members were out because of illness, but there was a fair attendance. In addition to Haggard being there to preach, Dr. Embra Jackson, who is the Starkville District superintendant, showed up in a regular visit, too.
Before being named district superintendant, Jackson had taught at Wood College in Mathiston and had served several Methodist churches as pastor.
Jackson brought greetings from the district office and from the bishop of the Mississippi United Methodists.
Haggard brought a most-interesting sermon for the Maben church, and, before his sermon, said he was reminded of a Methodist pastor one Sunday beginning his sermon who noticed his district superintendant in the congregation as he was paying one of his regular visits.
This pastor, Haggard said, was a little nervous, and in his sermon quoted from “the Book of Noah” three or four times.
Haggard continued with his sermon, which all enjoyed.
We know the people of Flower Ridge must have had a happy Homecoming with one of their own, the Rev. Scarlet Shepperd, there to preach for them. It was a happy experience for both churches.