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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Crockett reflects on years of ministry at First Methodist

Friday, June 3, 2011

Rev. Clif Crockett, pastor of the United Methodist Church in Monett, will give his last sermon on Sunday, June 12. Crockett has pastored the Monett church for 11 years and will relocate to the United Methodist Church in Kimberling City. [Times Photo by Lisa Craft]
Rev. Clif Crockett, pastor of the First United Methodist Church, of Monett, will deliver his final sermon at the church on June 12.

Following 11 years at the Methodist Church, Crockett will be taking the pastorate at the Kimberling City United Methodist Church.

The Methodist system is operated by appointing pastoral positions through a bishop and district superintendent. Crockett was appointed to Monett through the United Methodist connection system.

"Honestly, I probably started having feelings that God was telling us that it was time probably about a year ago," said Crockett. "I had fulfilled my purpose here. You just know that you know. So I told my district superintendent that I thought it was time to leave."

Crockett spent eight of his 11 years in Monett in the building located on Fourth Street. The last three years have been spent in the church's new building located on Highway 37.

"We came to Monett knowing there had been some conversation of a new building and that is one of the things that was attractive to me about coming to this location," said Crockett. "I was coming to a congregation that had a vision and wanted to grow."

Crockett has been doing pastoral ministry for 35 years and has pastored seven churches. Approximately half of his ministry has been spent at his last two churches in, Lamar and Monett. The Monett church is the third building project that Crockett has participated in.

"I am not saying that I feel called to build churches," said Crockett, "but it seems to be my lot in life that God seems to lead me in the direction to do those sort of things. "This church was built by some very gifted, generous and talented people who really worked hard to make this happen,  Crockett continued. "There are people that got out there and helped stake it out, people that swept the concrete off so the construction people could continue and cleaned up construction debris.

"This place was built with a lot of faith and a lot of people who gave their time and energy to make it happen. As pastor, I had the joy of getting out of the way."

Crockett was raised in the Republic area, so he and his wife, Dee, are very pleased to stay in southwest Missouri.

"We have enjoyed our time here and have made lots of friends. I have appreciated the opportunities that this community has afforded me to be engaged in ministry beyond the local church.

"I have been involved in the Chamber of Commerce, Kiwanis and other organizations, Crockett said. "I got to be a part of the inception of the Habitat For Humanity and see that come in to being and many other things that have allowed me to take the ministry of the church outside of these walls and hopefully have made a difference in those ways as well.

"I have always wondered what it is about Monett that seems to be so strong, economically and socially, and have found it is the attitude of the people," Crockett said. "The attitude of 'we can do this' and innovation and people who were really willing to think outside the box. I am also proud that we have lowered the age demographics of the congregation. I will truly miss being here."

The new pastor of the Monett First United Methodist Church is Paul Lanning, who has been the pastor of Gashland United Methodist Church in north Kansas City. He will take over the Monett church the first of July.

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