Larry Hood
 

We are blessed to have Pastor Larry Hood at Lutheran Church of the Risen Lord.  He has brought much spirit and life to our congregation.

You can contact Pastor Larry on his cell phone at 432-770-8307

or by email:  l3lhood@yahoo.com
 

My Journey…

Who would have thought it? That I, Larry Hood, a Baptist minister for 25 years could become a Lutheran Pastor but yet it happened. It has been three years since I came to Lutheran Church of the Risen Lord and it has been one of the most Spirit filled and Spirit led journeys I have ever known. I want to share with you that journey.

The call came out of the blue… Kelly Clark was on the other end of the phone asking me if I would come and preach through the Advent season at LCRL or “Touchdown Jesus” as it’s known inn the community. Well, my response was, “How did you get my number?” Some ladies and been to one of my funeral services and I guess they felt that I could lead them through advent since they didn’t have a pastor. My response was, “Let me explain, I have long hair, I’m from a different denomination, an old youth minister/aerobics instructor, I get excited and I don’t stand behind a pulpit very well.” Her response, “we could use some excitement, come on.”

Now you need to know a little background info to add some color and flavor to this situation… On March 30, 2007 I became “one of those pastors” when I left my wife and my church. I left everything I had known, loved, trained for and went “home”. I struggled with what I was going to be “when I grew up”, I couldn’t be a minister again that went against Scripture (so I thought). My life was truly a blank page.

I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would come back to Odessa, Texas. I had always told folks that if God wanted me to come back He would send me a letter “certified mail”, well, He kind of did. The only job I could find was mowing yards in… wait for it… Odessa! Once I was back I started reconnecting with friends and family. I guess it had been about 3 weeks when I received a call from a pastor friend, Jimmy Braswell, who asked if I would consider being a hospice chaplain. Really! the opportunity to minister again? You bet! I was content with being a chaplain during the week and being my own person on the weekends. I felt that I had “done my time” as a pastor. I ministered as a chaplain for about five years when Risen Lord contacted me.

It was during my time as pulpit supply that the church asked me to stay on as a fill-in pastor until the interim pastor arrived in February. February came and they asked me to stay on as associate pastor, then at the end of June our interim pastor left and the church asked me to become their pastor. You can’t make this stuff up! Our denomination, NALC, agreed to allow me to become pastor as long as I went through the steps to become a recognized Lutheran minister. It involved me having a mentor to talk to every week and education. I was officially recognized at a service in April 2015. Cool huh?

My journey with this wonderful group of people has been one of healing and restoration, for me as well as the church. I have never been around a more loving and devoted group of people who love their church and everyone who walks through the doors. I know, we're not perfect but we do the best we can and we understand one truth: We all stand on the same side of the cross.

You need to understand that what I will be sharing is not a textbook class on the Lutheran way but my own discovery. I did discover that what I had been taught and believed was very similar to the conservative views of Risen Lord and the NALC. I was also impressed with the heart and life of Martin Luther. Martin Luther held to three solas (it means “only) as a foundation of his beliefs. I hope it doesn’t bother you but I’ve added two more because they seemed to fit for me and are in line with what Martin Luther taught.

Also, I needed to understand the liturgy we do every Sunday. Does it come from historical roots or Biblical? What I discovered has changed my spiritual life. Now it may be my own imagination but I see a pattern where our liturgy closely follows the pattern found in the Tabernacle of the Old Testament; From the “entering his gates with thanksgiving in my heart”, to confessing our sin, being cleansed of our sin, to the Holy Place (the Word) and ending with us being in the presence of God (communion). Now our liturgy makes sense to me. I hope you will join me with an open heart and discover with me, not what makes us Lutheran but children of God.

Pastor Larry