Local couple heads for preaching school

Published 8:43 am Monday, June 27, 2011

The last three years have been a bit of a whirlwind for Kaleb Hall, an Oak Grove native who had scarcely heard of Demopolis before meeting the former Kristin Myers.

Hall became a frequent visitor to Demopolis while dating the woman who would ultimately become his bride and moved to the City of the People in September.

This weekend, the couple’s relationship with the city that provided the backdrop for most of their courtship will change as they pack up and head to Memphis, Tenn. where Kaleb will become a student at the Memphis School of Preaching.

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“For Kristin, I imagine it is a lot harder (to leave),” Kaleb said. “Her sister and her mom and dad are here.”

The couple’s connection to the school developed through their friendship with the former preacher of the Canal Heights church of Christ, Justin Paschall, and the congregation’s current pulpit minister, Carl Jenkins. Both men are graduates of the west Tennessee preaching school.

“I think it is a program that has results. When it comes down to it, talking to elders and everybody else, they like what is coming out of Memphis,” Kaleb explained. “Seeing Carl and Justin come out with the knowledge that they have has been really impressive.”

The school offers an exhaustive two-year program that requires students to be entirely engaged in the study of God’s word. Young men enter the program to not only learn to preach, but also to lead singing and perform countless other duties a preacher may be called upon to carry out.

“I do like the aspect that I can walk into a church building and fill in where ever I am needed,” Kaleb said.

Enrollment in the program comes along with housing provided by the school but is funded entirely through donations from churches as students are not allowed to hold secular jobs while studying at MSOP. That leaves students with only the generosity of their brethren and their budding preaching talents as sources of income.

“I definitely don’t have to worry about a secular job interfering,” he said. “I don’t have to worry about being able to cram study time into there.”

While the program is certainly a significant undertaking for aspiring preachers, those who are married during enrollment also involve their spouse in a number of classes and commitments designed to help them be prepared for the often demanding life as a preacher’s wife.

“Every preacher I have talked to, one of the first things they told me was that if I didn’t have a wife that was behind me on this, I was on the road to failure because the wife is so important to the preacher,” Kaleb said.

While the task ahead of the couple is daunting and clearly not for everyone, Hall finds the opportunity as the realization of a dream, embracing it as the pathway into the only work to which he desires to dedicate his life.