29815 NE 159thSt., Excelsior Springs, MO 64024
Born: To Julia and Lewis Ernest, in Little Rock, AR. Dad was called to preach at the age of 44, when I was 7. He became an Associate Member of the Arkansas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church where he served for 20 years until his death in 1984. Mom was a pastor’s wife and homemaker. She died in 2009.
Wife: Donna Lynn Kelley Ernest (MBA from Kaplan University, Summa Cum Laude from Arkansas College, Batesville, AR, 1981). We were married Feb. 13, 1999; one son (my stepson) Aaron Hutsell, born Nov. 1985; daughter-in-law, Amy; they have a son and daughter, Braylon James, born in 2014, and Callaway Kelley, born in 2020. They live near Liberty, MO. Donna is the Administrative Assistant to the Director of Congregational Care of the Great Plains Conference of the UMC. She also plays the piano, but her priority now is “DeDe” to Braylon and Callaway.
2 (older) Sisters:Rebecca (Becky) Gross, and Deborah (Debbie) Webb, both live in Searcy, AR with their families.
Secular Work History:
Before my call to the ministry, and briefly thereafter, I had a long career in radio broadcasting beginning full-time in 1977. I have worked at radio stations in Arkansas, Texas (15 years at KETR-FM) and Missouri, doing every job imaginable—we even owned and managed our own station for a time. I ended my broadcasting career as Program Manager and Morning Show host for WRD Entertainment, a six-station cluster in Batesville, AR in 2013.
Sidney, AR Lay Speaker 07/01/09--06/30/10
Guion/Sidney, AR Senior Pastor 07/01/10--11/14/10
Hazel Edwards Memorial
(Newark)/Oil Trough, AR Senior Pastor 11/15/10--06/30/13
Huntsville/Presley Chapel, AR Senior Pastor 07/01/13--06/30/16
Richmond/Princeton, KS Senior Pastor 07/01/16--06/30/17
Lecompton, KS Senior Pastor 07/01/17--06/30/21
Paradise, MO Senior Pastor(R) 07/01/21--
Searcy, AR, High School Graduate 1975
Arkansas State University BS, R/TV Communications 1978
Local Pastor License School Completed 2010
United Methodist Study School Polity/Doctrine 2014
Course of Study School (Perkins/St. Paul) Graduate 2015
Commissioned as Associate Member of the Great Plains Annual Conference in July 2018
Hobbies: Golf, fishing, guitar, light carpentry, reading, and “Pop” to grandkids.
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