By Connie Davis Bushey
News Editor, Baptist and Reflector
HENDERSON — Being a Marine, a cop, and then a Sheriff’s Department supervisor isn’t easy, said Larry Rose. Then there was the burden of being a Christian who felt called by God to the ministry. Thankfully, he did experience satisfaction “serving the public” and helping desperate people who truly needed help, he noted.
Should he quit to enter the ministry? he thought often over the years. Now his struggle is over. Rose, who is 75 years old, was ordained to the ministry by Deanburg Baptist Church, Henderson, on March 19.
“I’m living proof that the good Lord doesn’t give up on you,” quipped Rose, who credited his pastor, Tillman Mays, for preparing him for the ministry.
“I probably should have done this 35-40 years ago. … If I could find a reason I’d use it,” he admitted.
Rose served in law enforcement in Florida for 21 years and in corporate security in Texas before he and his wife, Patricia, retired and returned to her birthplace and home church, Deanburg Baptist.
About seven years ago Deanburg Baptist ordained him as a deacon and then Mays began calling upon him to be a supply preacher and regular Wednesday night teacher.
Rose said he has learned from his experiences in law enforcement, in business, being an active Baptist, involvement in the Presbyterian church, and the loss of an 18-year-old granddaughter to a rare disease. His law enforcement experiences often appear in his sermons, he admitted. “I have a stack full of war stories. …
“I do not know where it’s going to take me,” Rose said of the ordination. “All I knew was if I didn’t answer the call and become ordained, nothing was going to happen.”
He already has agreed to help Madison-Chester Baptist Association/Crockett County Baptist Association, based in Jackson, hold Sunday campground services at Chickasaw State Park. Larry Murphy, director of missions, also has asked him to consider serving as supply preacher in other churches.
Tillman Mays said, “Larry is a man who loves the Lord deeply and he’s really commited to the church,” including Deanburg Baptist though it is a small rural church. God “called the men in the Old Testament many times late in life, and they served well. … I think Larry is a man that God called.” Rose’s background is impressive, added Mays, however Rose decided “all that was fine and good … but the Lord was the paramount thing.”