As Rev. Eric Douglas begins his second year as pastor of First United Methodist Church of Mineral Wells, he does so as an ordained minister.
Rev. Douglas was one of 11 Methodist pastors ordained on Tuesday as part of the church’s 2017 Central Texas Annual Conference in Mansfield.
“I’m overjoyed that this part of my life is complete, it has been the focus and work of my life for the last dozen years or so,” said Rev. Douglas, who began the ordination process in the summer of 2004. “There are a lot of challenges facing the church in our day, but I’m confident that our God is bigger than any of them.”
Becoming an ordained Methodist minister is a calling, followed by a detailed process that typically takes several years before completing the various stages of candidacy. It is a process of time and patience.
A candidate for ordination requires one year of UMC membership and admission to the program through the district superintendent. Candidacy requirements are one year of ministry service, be a certified candidate for one year, evaluations, completion of graduate-level theology training and undergoing several interviews.
Following that, a person is then commissioned as a provisional member and enters a residency program for two to 12 years to review their effectiveness as a minister. During this time the provisional member is assigned a church and reviewed by their local district superintendent, an assigned clergy mentor, a special committee of lay people from the local church, a regional board of other ministers and the normal personal committee of their church. After being recommended by all of these various bodies, boards, committees and persons, a provisional member must then be approved by a two-thirds majority vote of all the Methodist pastors in their Annual (regional) Conference.
Once ordained, the minister can perform all church rites and ceremonies and is guaranteed a pastorate of a congregation until retirement.
Rev. Eric Douglas began his pastorate of FUMC Mineral Wells on July 1, his third senior pastorate. His first was at First United Methodist Church of Bartlett. Following that he served as senior pastor of Dido United Methodist Church, a small country church in northwest Tarrant County.
Before coming to Mineral Wells, Rev. Douglas was associate pastor for First United Methodist Church in Waxahachie.
He is a graduate of Texas Wesleyan University, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Religion, and Asbury Theological Seminary, where he received his Master of Divinity degree.
Rev. Douglas and his wife, Brittney, are the parents of daughters Kalea and Anastasia.