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Posted: November 27, 2009 12:00 a.m.

A man of enthusiasm and energy

The Rev. Kenneth Norrington is nothing if not exuberant about his work for God

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A man who found his calling: The Rev. Kenneth Norrington is a busy man. Every Sunday he preaches at Union Grove United Methodist Church, where he began working in June of 1998. Every Sunday he also preaches at Gaither's Chapel, known as "the littl...

The Rev. Kenneth Norrington is best described as a man with a lot of energy, enthusiasm, joy and a lot of Jesus. He serves as a part time local pastor to Union Grove United Methodist and Gaither's Chapel United Methodist Church.

A native of Covington, he was born to the late John Henry and Perrylee Norrington. Although he accepted Christ at age 18 and knew he had a calling on his life to preach, he did not come to terms with it until the death of his parents.

"It made me go back and do some self examination," said Norrington. "I knew I had been running from God, and I began to go back to church."

Norrington graduated from Newton County High School in 1974 and attended West Georgia College for two years. He is currently enrolled at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University.

He and his wife Michelle have four children - Oshea, Philip, Ryan and Angela. They have five grandchildren.

Norrington benefited from several mentors in his life. His dad and oldest brother Anthony taught him how to be responsible. His former pastor the Rev. Ronald Johnson took him under his wings, and as Norrington put it, "He didn't let me ease out the door."

Norrington accepted his calling in 1993 under the preaching of the Rev. George Leavett Jr. and was licensed to preach in 1996.

"I quit drinking and smoking the same day," said Norrington remembering how he threw his cigarettes out the window before he got to the end of the street.

Norrington started a newsletter and a street ministry called New Beginning. The one man mission said he experienced ultimate joy in sharing his faith and leading people to Christ.

Over the next two years, Norrington prepared for the ministry. One day while walking the church grounds, he looked up and asked God, "Where am I supposed to be?" Norrington said God answered, "You are there."

On the fourth Sunday of June, 1998, he was appointed to Union Grove UMC and to Gaither's Chapel UMC the following Sunday. Both churches are rich in heritage and have served the community for over 140 years. Norrington holds weekly Sunday services at both churches alternating service times at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m.

Norrington is a technician and inspector for Bizzy Bee Exterminators and enjoys the opportunity to witness to people in his daily travels.

"I take my prayer book with me everywhere I go and ask people if they would like to sign it," said Norrington. "Every morning, I thank God for a new day, my wife and children, and I ask God to watch over them during the course of the day. I turn my attention to the prayer book and ask the Lord to minister to these people according to their needs and his riches in glory."

Norrington said both churches have been overwhelmed by the needs around them and have emptied their coffers offering assistance. They contribute canned goods to the Newton County Food Pantry and Union Grove offers meeting space to Girl Scout Troup 28556.

Under Norrington's leadership, Union Grove grew from 18 to 110 and averages 70 in their contemporary service. Gaither's Chapel has a membership of 30 and enjoys traditional music. Known as the little church with a big spirit, Gaither's Chapel is seeing an increase in the attendance of children and teens.

Norrington is a man of many talents and has played the trumpet since the fourth grade. He said he loves to sing and dance with joy. In the worst situation, he finds something to smile about. He tells the story about the college boy and elderly mother who recited the Twenty-third Psalm.

"The young man's diction was perfect, but when the mother of the church stood up and said it, there wasn't a dry eye in the place because she knew what the psalm was about," said Norrington. "That's how I am about my singing. I'm not a great singer by any stretch of the imagination but I know who I'm singing about."

Union Grove UMC is located at 757 Dixie Road and Gaither's Chapel is on Davis Ford Road in Covington. For information, call (770) 786-0555.

 


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