Pastor’s Corner: Tommy Gray
Pastor’s Corner: Tommy Gray
Asbury United Methodist Church
Tell us about yourself:
I was born in Huntsville and at the age of two moved to Arab. I am married to Carrie, have two children, Matt and Breanne, and a granddaughter, Millie. After graduating from UAH, I went to seminary in Memphis and then to Asbury Theological Seminary in Kentucky. After serving as the founding pastor of ClearBranch UMC in Trussville and serving within our denomination, I have “returned home” to Huntsville to serve as one of the pastors at Asbury in Madison.
What motivates you to do what you do?
First, it is the desire I have for everyone to experience the joy and hope that I received through the amazing grace of God. I am also motivated by the clear sense of call that I received at the age of seventeen. Now at the age of fifty, I continue to find significant joy in preaching, working with a great team of laity and staff to accomplish God’s mission, locally and globally, and investing in the new generation of young leaders that God is raising up.
What is God speaking to you right now?
Since arriving at Asbury three years ago, I have had the privilege of being in ministry with the global church in significant ways. I have been on mission with the church in South Korea, Nepal (twice), Costa Rica and Ethiopia. Dr. Tim Tennent, President of Asbury Seminary, recently wrote in a blog post, “One of the advantages of sustained interaction with the global church is that our brothers and sisters can help re-introduce us to Christianity.” Through this interaction with the global church, God has re-introduced or reminded me of the priority of prayer, the sufficiency of the gospel and the importance of “immediate radical costly obedience.”
What does unity in our city mean to you?
Romans 12:15 says, “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.” I believe real unity begins when we love God and love people at this level. Where we can genuinely celebrate what God is doing in other’s lives and have the empathy to enter into other’s pain. When we do this, we applaud what God is doing through every avenue and in every arena. We will also seek to understand the pain of others and to alleviate that pain when possible. In so doing, we can unite across all potential divides such as denominational, racial, and socioeconomic. We truly begin to live the Lord’s Prayer, “Thy Kingdom come, on Earth as it is in Heaven.”
Prayer for the city:
Father, I pray for your kingdom to come in Huntsville and this region, even as it is in heaven. For your church, I pray for revival, unity and impact. For the people of this region, I pray for the full and abundant life that Jesus promises. May we be more fully alive in you and your will. May our lives give testimony to great love for you and others. In Jesus name, Amen.