St. Luke UM pastor to become district supe

n The Rev. Mike Hicks will
preside over the Hattiesburg
District, beginning in July.

BY GALEN HOLLEY

Daily Journal

TUPELO – The Rev. Mike Hicks, pastor of St. Luke United Methodist Church in Tupelo, has been appointed superintendent for the Hattiesburg District, one of 11 districts of the United Methodist Church in Mississippi. Hicks was appointed by Bishop Hope Morgan Ward and will assume duties on July 1, after the Annual Conference.

Hicks announced his new appointment to the St. Luke congregation on February 3. He will replace interim superintendent the Rev. Clint Gill, who has held the post since February.

Originally from the Jackson area, Hicks was ordained in 1978. He and his wife, Linda, have three children, two of whom graduated from the Tupelo Public School System. He said that Tupelo has been very good to his family.

“This feels like home. I love this church and the people here,” said Hicks. He said that, among his favorite memories will be the St. Luke’s food pantry, which currently serves 150 local families each week.

Hicks is no stranger to Hattiesburg. He served for 6 years as pastor of Petal United Methodist Church, one of five previous charges before coming to Tupelo nine years ago. “We just purchased a house in Hattiesburg,” said Hicks. “There are a few familiar faces. We’re anticipating a nice time, but the transition is always stressful.”

To help him hit the ground running, Hicks has been attending monthly meetings and exchanging e-mails with other district superintendents since the first of the year.

Hicks is grateful for his unusually long tenure at St. Luke. He said, however, that research within the denomination suggests that it’s becoming more common. “We’re tending toward longer tenures,” said Hicks. “Especially for older pastors. And, the larger the congregation – generally – the longer the tenure.” St. Luke, with some 750 members, is considered one of the larger of the 115 churches in the Tupelo District.

In his new charge, instead of being pastor of only 1 in 115 churches, he’ll preside over 115. “My primary role will be as a supervisor,” said Hicks. He added, “However, I want to approach it as being a pastor among pastors.”

Hicks will serve a six-year term with the possibility of a two-year extension.

Hicks’ last Sunday will be June 15. His replacement will be made official after the Annual Conference in June.

Contact Daily Journal religion editor Galen Holley at 678-1510 or galen.holley@djournal.com.