Honoring the Ministry of Rev. Philip Rhodes

    Jun 1, 2021 |

    When the announcement came in February that Rev. Philip Rhodes would become the next East District Area Superintendent, June seemed so far off but…here we are. Philip pastored at the First United Methodist Church of Hurst since 2005 and has served as the church’s Senior Pastor since 2012 – a time that brought about many vital and vibrant ministries and even more treasured relationships. On May 30, SPR hosted a drive-thru reception honoring the ministry of Rev. Philip Rhodes.

    The following article appeared February 7, 2021 on the website.

    Philip remains committed to staying in the United Methodist Church. “This appointment to the role of DS for the East District Area is the definition of bittersweet,” said Philip. “One question that a church asks of a senior pastor is ‘will you love us?’ First Hurst raised me in my career/my calling for over 22 years. They raised our kids. Yes, I love them! I have loved them I will continue to love them. To say that the people of First Hurst have been good to us is beyond an understatement. Leaving local church ministry – and especially our ministry at First Hurst – is going to be tough.”

    Beyond all that COVID-19 has wrought on the ministries of Central Texas Conference churches, and the uncertainty that lies ahead in how to effectively emerge from the pandemic, Rev. Rhodes realizes that there are many changes and challenges facing the conference and The UMC.

    “When Bishop Lowry presented the opportunity to join the Cabinet, I had to think about it, pray about it long and hard,” recalled Philip. “As much as I love all that we have going at First Hurst, all that is in front of us in our disciple making efforts, the opportunity to help the churches and clergy and lay leadership of the East District move beyond all that is facing the church right now, to move beyond all that we’ve been through since the 2019 Called Special General Conference – and really since the 2016 General Conference – was just too great.

    “I am committed to staying in the United Methodist Church – whatever that looks like following the postponed 2020 General Conference – and helping the Central Texas Conference stay together and stay focused and committed to our mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.”

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