Love and acceptance: The Rev. Randall S. Morse loves several things about Scott City First Assembly of God

Sunday, October 17, 2010
The Rev. Randy Morse is pastor of First Assembly of God in Scott City, Mo. (Fred Lynch)

In the 16 years the Rev. Randall S. Morse has served Scott City First Assembly of God, he has come to love several things about his church. But he said his main joy is seeing how his church loves and accepts people "no matter what their status is." He was a teen leader and became a full-time pastor in 1985. He joined First Assembly in 1994. He serves as chaplain for the Scott City police and president of the Scott City Ministerial Alliance and is involved in several other community organizations.

How long have you been a member of your faith? I accepted Jesus Christ as my savior and lord in March 1978 at Caterpillar Tractor Co. in Davenport, Iowa, on machine line 15. It was 32 years ago.

What drew you to serve in a leadership role? I was a teen leader and a Royal Ranger commander (boys ministry), and I went through various leadership training while training for management at Caterpillar. I would end up overseeing the west-central section of Illinois as a Royal Ranger sectional commander. It was there that I was invited to speak at various men's meetings and churches, and it was then that I was called by God into the ministry. Since then, I have also been a Presbyter, overseeing the churches of Southeast Missouri (Cape section) and currently on the board of directors of Teen Challenge.

What education/background/studies did you go through to become a pastor? I received my credentials through the Illinois Bible Institute, from the Illinois District Assemblies of God and through the Illinois District Assemblies of God School of Ministry. I have taught, trained and still teach ministers and candidates for ministry though Berean School of the Bible and Southern Missouri District Assemblies of God.

Where are you from and when/why did you move to the Scott City area? I am originally from Farmington, Ill., near Peoria, Ill. Dad was transferred by Caterpillar to Davenport, and we moved near the Quad Cities. We lived within that part of the state, and I would become a teens pastor in Galesburg, Ill., and a teens rep for west-central Illinois. I would then take a church in New Boston, Ill., that had been closed down because of problems. We had no home, so my family and I lived in the basement of the church. We pastored there for about six-and-a-half years and God began to release me from there after we built a parsonage. Scott City was looking for a pastor, and right after the Easter service and celebration in New Boston we started up the moving truck and came to Scott City.

What do you think makes this church special? The love. There is a love and acceptance no matter what your status is. The people love the Lord, love others and believe God for miracles. We have seen many healed from cancer and other things in their life. The people simply believe God and will not restrict him nor put God in a box.

What's your favorite verse and why? Proverbs 3:5-6, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding in all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your path." This meant so much to us when [Caterpillar] laid me off and there were no jobs, God always provided. When our little boy Joshua went home to be with Jesus, this said it all when we had no other answers. Still today all we have to do is trust him and don't just lean on your own understanding but believe and trust in him and he will work it out and direct our ways. I don't have all the answers, but I know who does.

What program have you done with your church that you are proud of and why? We are a study center for Berean School of the Bible, a part of the Assemblies of God Global University out of Springfield. I have enjoyed teaching others and we have had many who have left here to become pastors and teens pastors in other churches.

Other ministries include our teens and children ministries, including our Girls Club, formerly known as the Missionettes, our Sunday school and music ministry. All of them reach and teach and disciple people, the ministries have a great love and make a great impact on all those they reach. And the music ministry is not large and showy but anointed and sincere, it is all about the Lord and entering into his presence.

Our women's ministry has a woman of the month and they also disciple and encourage the ladies and offer great strength and support, then our men's ministry has a monthly breakfast in which all the men from every church in town can come and they do. A new ministry was started called Sportsmen Under the Influence. They reach out to many with crappie, game calling and Dutch oven seminars, wild game dinners and hunter and bow safety classes.

What's your favorite day of the week and why? Wednesday and Sunday. Wednesday I teach an interactive Bible study, and there is a lot of spontaneity and great feedback. Sundays because I get to share from the pulpit what God has put on my heart to share with the people. To feel the anointing and to be used as a vessel of God is an honor, it is humbling and it is exhilarating all at the same time.

What's your favorite part of being a pastor? Loving God and loving people. Doing what God has called me to do and loving and fellowshipping with people. It is great when you see people understanding and getting what you are saying. I love to see and make God real to people today, and the best part is when someone makes a decision for Christ and the ministry at the altar.

What hobbies do you have? Hunt, fish, trap, model railroad collection, drawing and painting, reloading, studying history, running my hound and enjoying all God created.

What else do you do besides serve as pastor? I am the husband of Brenda Morse, and I have been for 35 years. I am a dad for Angie Huckstep (she is a wife and a mother and going to be an elementary teacher) and the Rev. Nathan Morse, (he is a husband and teens pastor in Arkadelphia, Ark.) I am a grandpa of three beautiful grandchildren. I also serve as a chaplain for the Scott City police, chaplain for the Seamen's Church Institute (towboats), president of the Scott City Ministerial Alliance. I chair the benevolences in Scott City, connected with United Way, board of directors for Teen Challenge, hunter safety instructor and substitute bus driver for Scott City schools, and I am an honorary Kentucky Colonel.

Do you have a prayer, psalm or verse you would like to give our readers for the day? Look up for your redemption draws near. Most everyone senses something is going to happen, and I believe the Lord is closer now then he has ever been. Look up with expectation and know Lord is good and has a plan for you and a future for you. Don't give up or be discouraged for all things work together for the good of those that love him and are called according to his purpose. He is pouring out his spirit upon all people and we can all experience it now. So lift up your eyes from the circumstance upon this earth to the answers that come from heaven. If there were 100 steps to God, he has already made 99 all you have to do is make the one, come and receive Jesus Christ today. Everyone is welcome to come and fellowship with us, too.

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