CommonCall: Meaningful work

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Joseph Parker Jr. considers himself a steward of all his life experiences.

• Growing up in the home of a pastor and civil rights leader.

• Pursuing a successful career as an attorney.

• Surrendering to God’s call to ministry.

• Serving more than two decades as pastor of David Chapel Missionary Baptist Church in Austin.

• Receiving a heart transplant.

Every experience formed Parker’s character and confirmed his calling.

commoncall sept300“My calling is to service,” he said. “Calling doesn’t center on individual choice. It is a compulsion. But we have the option to resist it.”

For Parker, the call to service means developing disciples in his church, revitalizing his neighborhood, building bridges in his community and seeking justice in society.

“I was raised with a view that the church is to minister to the whole person,” he said. “I learned leadership watching and walking with my father in a certain kind of environment that shaped me.”

Parker’s father served as pastor of Hall Street Baptist Church in Montgomery, Ala., where he took an active role alongside Martin Luther King Jr. in the bus boycotts sparked by Rosa Parks’ refusal to surrender her bus seat to a white passenger.

This excerpt is from an article featured in the September issue of CommonCall magazine. Read more stories like this, plus commentary, news and other resources, by subscribing here.

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