The Rev. Tommy Conder, who moved to Lincoln County earlier this month to serve as the newest head pastor at McKendree United Methodist Church in Lincolnton, said he was just a young child when God called him to the ministry.
“I heard it (God’s call) when I was 12 and resisted it until I was 32,” he said. “It’s something I’ve always known — not sure I can explain it.”
Conder and his wife, Andrea, maintain a unique family dynamic since she’s also ordained, serving in an assistant position at Rocky Mount United Methodist Church in Mooresville.
“It’s interesting and difficult at times, but for us we’ve never known anything different,” he said. “It takes a lot of communication.”
Prior to moving to Lincoln County with his family, including daughter Emma, 9, and son Trey, 7, Conder, a Charlotte native, preached five years at North Kannapolis United Methodist Church.
While he believes it’s too soon to start making goals for his new congregation, Conder does anticipate establishing lasting friendships with church families, watching them grow in both their relationships with God and the community and “continuing to serve Christ together.”
“I’m most looking forward to learning the people and growing the church,” Conder said.
This year marks his 14th year in ministry, and for him, the job is anything but boring.
“It’s fun,” he said. “It’s what I do.”
Conder will officially take the McKendree pulpit for the first time on Sunday.
While the Conders only just arrived in town a little over a week-and-a-half ago, they have already developed an attachment to the area.
“We love it here so far,” he said. “We really, really like Lincoln County. It seems like great people and great fun, and we look to forward to knowing the town better.”