The Ordination of Rev. Brandon Rich
There was a lot of discussion in Tennessee about the ordination of wedding ministers back before the coronavirus dominated, well, everything! On July 1, 2019 a new Tennessee state law took effect that clarified our state's requirements that religious officiants for weddings had to be traditional ordained, and that so-called "online ordination" was not sanctioned. With this in mind, I want to share a bit about my ordination. Back when I was a student at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and serving in a church staff as their interim pastor, that same church decided to call me as their permanent senior pastor. Their board of deacons request my home church to ordain me to the ministry. In the Baptist tradition, ordination is a function of the local congregations. On March 12, 2000 I met with the ordination committee and after their approval, the First Baptist Church of Nashville, Tennessee held a service of ordination for me. After several ministers and members of my ordination committee spoke, I took my place at the altar on a kneeling bench for the traditional laying on of hands part of the service, where ordained ministers and others would come to me, lay hands on me and pray for me. At the conclusion of the service, I was presented with a Certificate of Ordination and an inscribed Bible. Ordination is a very special and holy function of the church, recognizing that God has called that person into ministry. When I put the letters "Rev." in front of my name, that means something very special to me.