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Parker celebrates 20-year ministry at FBC Russellvillecomment (0)

April 9, 2009

“A fixture at First Baptist and in Russellville” is how Pastor Barry Holcomb of First Baptist Church, Russellville, described Richard Parker, minister of education and students, who is celebrating his 20th year at the Franklin Baptist Association church.

“Richard is a unique individual. He’s in his early 50s and still going strong as a youth minister. As a new pastor that’s only been here a year, I couldn’t be more pleased,” Holcomb said. “Our entire church thinks he’s the greatest. He is known and loved all over the city.”

After serving at First Baptist Church, Sheffield, for several years, Parker came to First, Russellville, in April 1989 as minister of education and activities. But it wasn’t long before his passion moved him back into the youth role.

“I was a youngster in youth group in Columbus, Ga., when I felt the very distinct call of God into student ministry. It was one of those things you’re just confident that is what you’re supposed to do. So I’ve followed that path,” said Parker, a graduate of the University of North Alabama in Florence and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

And at 53 years old, he is continuing with what he knows is “the overarching thing I’ve always felt a call and passion toward.”

In addition to his commitments at the church, he is also active in the community through his sports announcing for Russellville schools; serving as host of “Thursday Night Live,” a two-hour television show broadcast for the Russellville school system; and working at a local Christian radio station. He and his wife of 31 years, Amy, have two daughters.

“Richard does as good of a job with student ministry as anyone I’ve ever seen,” Holcomb said. “He’s highly committed to youth ministry. … And I know the impact he’s made on student’s lives has been great.”

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