|Hoard named Pastor of the Year by Wesleyan district|
|Written by Katie Tavernier|
|Thursday, 05 August 2010|
Richard Hoard, the Pastor at
The Eagle award was given to Hoard for having lead the
church in 10 percent growth and worship. Hoard also received the Excellence in
Ministry Award and was named Pastor of The Year 2010 for the South Coastal
District of the
Hoard said it may be his name on the awards but they belong to the church’s congregation.
“I got the recognition, but it is the folks here at the church who earned them,” Hoard said. “It’s not my award, it is theirs.”
Oconee River Methodist is the only Wesleyan congregation in
the Oconee and
“Do you think I am crazy? I left a wonderful congregation of over 500 people to start a church with 28 members,” Hoard said.
Hoard described his leap of faith in starting
“You do what you believe God wants you to do,” Hoard said. “I have a hunger to see people worshiping God and not a God who is above the heavens and stars, but one who is down here on Earth. It’s more of a daily relationship with God, with intentions that are close to God.”
For Hoard, receiving a Pastor of the Year award is the same
as Brian McCann being named Most Valuable Player for the Atlanta Braves. Like
McCann playing with a team of great players, Hoard said he is among great
pastors in the
“Being on the same team is an honor, and standing out among them is very affirming,” Hoard said.
Although becoming a pastor was a persistent pull from God, Hoard said his dream was not to go into ministry. At first, he wanted to become a professional baseball player.
Hoard said, though, that he was “washed up” by the age of 20 so he changed his career goals and graduated from UGA with a degree in broadcasting.
Hoard had intentions of becoming a sports broadcaster, and although he is not a professional he sometimes fills in as a play-by-play announcer at local high school football and basketball games.
Hoard has also taught English and history classes at schools
Hoard also is a part time actor. This summer he is Grandpa Joe in the Oconee Youth Playhouse production “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.” He has participated in other OYP productions, and also in Town and Gown and Classic City Arts Shakespeare productions.
Hoard has also written and published two books. One being a memoir of his life “Alone Among the Living,” and the other a novel called “The Race Before Us.”
“I’ve done a lot of fun things and I’ve been able to do a lot of the things I wanted to do when I was young – I just haven’t made a career out of it,” Hoard said.
Through all of his endeavors, Hoard said his faith and church have remained in his heart.
“I’m not better than anybody else – I am a thirsty man who knows where to get the best drink,” Hoard said.
Katie Tavernier is a
reporter for The
|Last Updated ( Wednesday, 11 August 2010 )|
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