First Christian Church Welcomes New Pastor | Opinion

The First Christian Church of Athens, also known as Disciples of Christ, is pleased to announce that Reverend Grant Steven Sisson has been chosen as its new minister.

Sisson’s first Sunday to preach will be at 10:45 a.m. September 4 at our sanctuary at 900 Robbins Rd. His first sermon is titled “The Great Commandment.” All are encouraged to join us in celebrating Reverend Grant’s first Sunday as a new pastor.

If you had to describe Sisson in one sentence, it would be that he is “a man with a big heart”. Anyone who has worked with him over the past few years has encountered the love of others and a true man of God who defines him.

Sisson’s call to ministry has given him the opportunity to see life from many different perspectives. From oil industry worker to preacher, counselor, business owner, he came to understand that human suffering is not only mental and emotional, but also spiritual.

Sisson states that he firmly believes that Satan’s lies distort God’s truth, leading people to destructive behavior and suffering.

“We must share the word of God as we grow together to become more Christlike.” he stated.

Sisson believes that the minister’s duty is “to render assistance to the flock of God” and because of his various experiences, he “can serve them effectively without judging or despising anyone.” He goes on to state that this is something he was hoping and praying for God’s guidance and he is thrilled to feel God’s call to our church and to be able to serve God and our community.

Sisson comes to us as our pastor after nine years in our congregation. He is married to Ann, his wife of 48 years.

Asked about their family, Ann replied: “We have three sons, one daughter, two daughters-in-law, one son-in-law, five grandchildren, three golden retrievers, two indoor kitties and one outdoor kitty. , and, oh yeah, five chickens!

Ann is the Director of Children and Youth at First Christian Church.

When asked to describe his sense of God’s conventual call to be part of the Christian Church and broader ecumenical and interreligious ministries, Sisson replied, “I have always believed that God leads us through the dark places we find ourselves in, and when He gets us to the other side, He uses us to go back to help others who find themselves in similar situations. It is a minister’s duty to lend assistance to his flock, and I have not only seen the struggles they have in my counseling experience, but I have been where too many of them are in my personal experience. This gives me the opportunity to serve them effectively. On a larger level, I have come to understand that since Jesus prayed so fervently for the unity of all his followers, we have to be very careful about “drawing the line” and excluding people from the Communion. A study of Romans 14 reveals that there are weaker brothers and sisters and stronger brothers and sisters in the faith, but they are always brothers and sisters who should not despise or judge each other.

Sisson preached for Restoration Movement churches for a total of 10 years. His experience as a counselor showed him how much pain people in this world usually live in and gave him a strong desire to help.

Sisson currently works part-time at the Lila Lane Men’s Life Recovery Center in Athens. He is a licensed chemical dependency counsellor. He has been at Lila Lane since November 2020 where he helps homeless people, alcoholics and drug addicts establish a stable and spiritually strong life through a stronger relationship with God.

The Early Christian Church, also known as Disciples of Christ, is a movement for integrity in a fragmented world. As members of the one body of Christ, we all welcome to the Lord’s table as God has welcomed us. This means that all are invited to respond to Christ’s invitation to come closer to God around the communion table, no matter who you are, where you come from or what you have done. Everyone is welcome. For Disciples, the open table is a powerful symbol of our deep commitment to Christian unity. The open table honors diversity, while celebrating unity in Christ.

Martha J. Finley