MUG-Billy-McCord-CMYKGreetings to each of you I always look forward to hearing from the readers and this has been a bountiful week.

While visiting my cousin, Ms Doris Ferguson, of Randolph, she asked me about an article I had written concerning, God has a plan for our lives. After returning home I found one dated in 2005. I do believe I have one more recent but I am unable to retrieve it.

And then others began to call asking for a like article, and I thought maybe God has a plan for my writings and I actually know he does. Rather than update a 2005 article I will try to provide you with a brand new article. I do hope this is what you are asking for.

I had always said I would never be a teacher. To comply with the Senior English requirement I wrote an essay on, “I would never be,” – you guessed it — “a teacher.” I did my undergraduate work at Wood Junior College and Ole Miss. Before I got my degree my advisor at Ole Miss said he wanted me to take a three semester hour course in education. I did not want to take the course but the advisor said that was the only opening to fulfill the requirements of one course not in my major field. So I had no choice it seemed.

Was this a coincidence? I hardly think you. I loved the course and could not wait to change my major to education. I am certain God was at work.

When it came time I was assigned to Greenwood Junior High to do my practice teaching. I wanted to do my practice teaching in high school but there was no opening. I think the right choice was made for me. I very much enjoyed the experience of practice teaching.

Before I left Greenwood I was offered a job teaching beginning in the fall. Now just guess what grade. Fifth grade social studies!! I knew that Elementary School was not my calling but I also knew I had to have a job and quick. The principal of the school was delighted to have me on the staff because she had no other male staff members. She said my room would be next to her office and that I could help with discipline.

In addition to that delightful news she also said I could keep the bulletin board on the hall outside her office. But I had to have a job!

At the beginning of summer I made a trip to Memphis to visit a patient in the hospital. I was a student pastor at Pittsboro at that time. While driving on I-55 I noticed a sign that read “Horn Lake.”

I turned off and followed the signs to the Village of Horn Lake.  I had never heard of Horn Lake nor been there.  I found the school and major work was being done on the building.  I asked a man with carpenter overalls on where the Principal of the school might be and he answers, “I am the Principal.”  I thought to myself, “So much for a job here.”  I told him I had seen the ad for a teacher of English and was interested in the job.

I will never know why but he told me to go to the bookroom and gets a copy of the textbook being used.  I did as told and when I returned he explained to me why so much construction was taking place. Southaven, now the largest city in Mississippi, had just started.  People were moving into the area and there were no schools.  Hence the students attended the schools in Horn Lake.  He told me he would call and let me know about the job and I was not very hopeful.

I got back to Pittsboro and as I got out of the car I heard the phone ringing.  It was the Principal of Horn Lake High and he had good news.  I had the job.  Was that just a coincidence?  I hardly think so.  My future mother-in-law was the secretary of the school.  That was no coincidence.  Her daughter Ann and I have been married 45 years and have shared a profession of teaching and ministry together.

While having dinner one night I got a call from the Chairman of the School Board telling me I had been named Principal of Southaven Elementary School. Was that just a coincidence?  You bet it was not.  From there I became the first Principal of Southaven High School.  I then served as Southaven Area Principal. I was in charge of three elementary schools and a Junior Senior High School. My last job in DeSoto County was Assistant Superintendent for Pupil Services of DeSoto County Schools.

Being able to retire early gave me the opportunity to return to the United Methodist Ministry. Ann and I served the Vardaman Charge, Friendship and Harding Chapel Churches as well as Wesley Foundation Director in Itawamba County, The Coffeeville United Methodist Church (nine years), and am now serving my home church,  The Shady Grove United Methodist Church. None of this just happened.  God made the plan and He and I executed the plan.

Remember, God has a plan for all of us. I hope we answer his plan.


Billy McCord is a retired school administrator and a United Methodist Minister. He is Pastor of Shady Grove United Methodist Church in Calhoun County. He is a member of and President of the Calhoun County School Board. Contact him at P.O. Box 337, Bruce, MS 38915 or by e-mail at


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