Paul Leeland felt an awareness of God and God’s claim upon his life while serving as a youth representative for his church at a conference event. The conference event offered church leadership a time of renewal and focused on equipping people to return to their local congregations to lead.
Paul states, “I felt the presence of Jesus and began to think consciously that I would love to have a place of service in the church. While I was not thinking of a specific role, I knew I wanted to give my life to God.”
Paul’s sense of God’s call stretched him beyond familiar surroundings of Washington, D.C., and Paul began a journey that would lead him toward ordination as an elder in The United Methodist Church.
In reflecting on the early steps of this journey, Paul recalled, “No one in my family had ever been to college. I was nervous about whether I could make it, but I was thinking I wanted to do my very best if I was to serve the church.”
The early contributions toward Paul’s faith development offered through his grandmother, great-grandmother, and local church led him to blend piety and knowledge:
“Paul is a gentle, wise, approachable, and pastoral servant–leader who is clearly centered and marked by his attentive and disciplined intimacy with the Divine.
His faithful and effective service, both within and beyond the local church, have equipped him for visioning God’s preferred future for the United Methodist Church while not losing sight of or heart for its treasured past.
His humble and self–less witness not only points to Christ but embodies the Christ.”
— Rev. William H. Gattis
NC Conference District Superintendent
Colleagues and friends believe Paul has strong listening skills and that he continues to draw upon his training in pastoral counseling.
He notes, “I am careful to listen to what people are saying to me and I am sensitive to finding a way to bring resolution and healing to hurtful situations.”
To learn more about Paul’s experiences, review his resume (PDF file).
© 2008 NC Conference SEJ Delegation
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