I want to introduce to you Clifton T. Arnold, Jr., a man who has become a special friend and inspiration to me. I met Clifton after Katrina while he was in school at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.  As a part of his training in church planting, Clifton came out and joined us for staff meetings to see how a young church plant worked and how we were re-planting after Katrina. My respect for him skyrocketed! I told him I would love it if someday the Lord would allow us to serve together! But that seemed a long shot. Speaking of skyrocketing, Cliff is a project manager with NASA's jet propulsion projects. You might remember I mentioned a rocket scientist in one of my messages a few weeks back. This is that guy! Here’s a little background on him: 

He was born in San Diego, California, to a military family, and grew up throughout the U.S. He graduated from Southern University with a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. Cliff has also earned a Master’s degree in Divinity with concentrations in Pastoral Ministries, Evangelism and Church Planting from the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (NOBTS). He has been accepted into the NOBTS Doctor of Ministry program with an emphasis in Strategic Leadership. In 1986, Cliff married Wanda T. Christy of Donaldsonville, LA. They have one child, Dr. Dodie L. Arnold, and one grandson--Caleb. Cliff and Wanda accepted Christ as their personal Savior at ages 10 and 8, respectively. Cliff brings 12 years of ministry experience and 31 years in Project Management/Engineering with NASA. Recently Cliff served as a North American Mission Board (NAMB) Church Planting intern for the city of New Orleans and he is currently serving as Associate Pastor, Mechanicville Emmanuel Baptist Church, Houma, LA. 

A few months back, we met with Cliff about the possibility of helping him plant a church here in Slidell. As those discussions progressed, Cliff and I both began to feel the Lord's leadership that maybe God wanted Cliff and Wanda to help Northshore do a better job of reaching out to the people of Slidell and the surrounding areas. Two questions emerged: What would that look like, and how could we afford to bring someone else on when our budget had already been set? The financial question was answered when Cliff told us that for now, he would require no funding. He's not quitting NASA and he presently serves a church in Houma preaching on Sunday nights, and takes other preaching and teaching opportunities as they become available. He said that whenever we could help out with compensation he would step away from some of the other extra responsibilities and focus more time with us. Such a gracious spirit! Our leadership team is recommending that we bring Cliff on our staff as one of our Associate Pastors to begin helping us with ministry to our people and our community. What his position and job description will look like will be determined as we explore how we can best work together to further the Kingdom of God. This will continue our Northshore philosophy that it's more important to hire people rather than positions. At present this will be a volunteer position and Cliff will give us what time he can. We would like for our covenant members to pray with us about this and have a voice in this decision.

We will have a special called business meeting after both services on June 5th, to give you the opportunity to vote on this recommendation.

Thank You,

Pastor Larry