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Man answers special calling

Carson Hunt is the latest pastor at the Ironton First Presbyterian Church.

Carson Hunt is the latest pastor at the Ironton First Presbyterian Church.

Will serve as latest pastor at First Presbyterian

About a decade ago Carson Hunt had an experience he wasn’t expecting to have.

“I was called to the ministry by God,” Hunt said. “It was definitely a calling. And when God calls you and you don’t know what to do, you do a lot of praying and crying and asking for answers. Sometimes those answers come immediately. Sometimes it takes time.”

Hunt’s earliest appointments were at two Methodist churches around Oak Hill followed by being one of three pastors preaching at First Lutheran Church in Portsmouth.

But on April 10, Hunt was commissioned as a certified lay pastor or ruling elder for First Presbyterian Church following the retirement of the Rev. Jan Williams, who had served at the Ironton church for the past nine years.

Now Hunt and the congregation will spend the next year seeing if the assignment can be long-term.

“A good fit in any occupation, I suppose, is someone able to do the job and help people feel good about the job being done,” he said.

To get the church’s lay certification, Hunt underwent a three-year program of study.

“I can do just about anything,” he said. “I’m not allowed to do some counseling. But I can marry and serve communion. Those are the only two sacraments in the Presbyterian church.”

Every morning he reads the lectionary or a book listing Scripture readings to get inspiration for the weekly sermon.

“I try to find something within the church and pray I will be lead to provide that sermon for someone or the entire congregation,” he said. “This is where I was led. God took the unqualified and qualified.