ABERDEEN – Even though Bro. James Clardy has filled in to lead services at First Baptist Church following Bro. Dave Dowdy’s transition to a church in Lee County, his role as the church’s new pastor was made official in March.
“I’m excited to be here. We’re grateful and humbled by it. We’re expecting good things to happen not just for our church but our church’s work as well,” he said.
The Hazel Green, Alabama native went on to attend Blue Mountain College after graduating high school in 2000 and met his wife, Traci, there. His father-in-law, Mike Bell, leads the Monroe County Baptist Association.
Clardy has done pulpit supply at several different churches in Monroe County before accepting the pastor’s role at First Baptist Church. His goal is to help the church become a healthy Word-centered church.
“I want to help her be conformed by scripture to be the people God has designed them to be. With that statement, it has a million implications like servanthood and fellowship,” he said. “There are some opportunities to build bridges like how we can serve our local school district. I want to build a relationship with our local government. They have their finger on the pulse and see needs we don’t. I want for us to be the salt and the light.”
Clardy said what the church does and doesn’t do now can have a ripple effect 15 to 20 years from now.
“A church’s biggest evangelism is the people. As they grow in Christ, they start influencing their neighbors and businesses. I want to equip our people to be every day missionaries where they find themselves,” he said. “My approach isn’t flashy programs but more of these people conforming to the image of Christ.”
Clardy’s family also includes five children – Eli, 14; Enoch, 13; Sarah, 11; Annabell, 10; and Ella, 8.