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December-January 2016


Follow the Leader


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Leadership comes in all forms and sizes, but the results are the same. Leaders influence behavior and make a difference in people’s lives. Profiling leaders reveals a diverse combination of traits, but changing lives is a common theme.


Leader Profile


Todd Parrish

As leadership has developed over the years, an egocentric or “look at me” style is giving way to a more preferred servant style, a transformative approach to leading. Some people lead from behind the scenes, while others possess the skill to lead humbly out front. Some do both. Todd Parrish is such a leader.

Growing up, Todd was influenced by several spiritual giants. Beginning with his parents (who led him to Christ); his grandfather Thurman Hall (a pastor); Bobby Jackson, who preached the night Todd’s father found the Lord; and Clint Morgan who, just before his first term in Africa, preached at youth camp where Todd answered the call to preach.

It is no wonder Todd did not run from his call but ran to it. His godly parents knew he was interested in pastoring when they discovered him in the backyard baptizing an unwilling candidate—the family cat.

Having pastored First FWB Church in Washington, North Carolina, for nearly four years, Todd and his wife Merinda love the congregation and also love helping people heal from their deepest hurts. Todd describes Merinda (White) Parrish as the greatest gift God gave him for ministry. The couple just celebrated their 25th anniversary, and their most enjoyable dates are dinner and a movie, fishing, or just grilling on the back deck—anything as long as they are seeking to deepen their friendship and fondness for each other. Their two daughters, Emily and Ellen, are students at Welch College, serving God with full abandon.

Todd leads his church well. He effectively works as one of the key leaders in state ministry. But more importantly, Todd is a leader to his family, carrying on the example of his own parents and grandparents set for him. Todd, You are a great leader!


Get to Know Todd...

What do people misunderstand about you? People sometimes fail to see how deeply I care when I lovingly confront them with truth. I want them to know that the depths of my love and care will not let them continue in a harmful direction.

Who is your favorite author? Robert J. Morgan

What books are you reading right now (or in the past six months)?

  • The Warrior Soul: Five Powerful Principles to Make You a Stronger Man of God by Jerry Boykin and Stu Weber

  • Answers to Prayer by George Muller

  • Mastering Life Before It’s Too Late: 10 Biblical Strategies for a Lifetime of Purpose by Robert J. Morgan

  • 100 Bible Verses Everyone Should know by Heart by Robert J. Morgan

  • First Lessons in Beekeeping by C.P. Dadant

What is your biggest failure? The busyness of trying to do so much that I fail to complete some tasks or forfeit doing them with excellence.

What would you like to see in Free Will Baptists in five or ten years? I would love to see our denomination embody Paul’s testimony of “forgetting what’s behind, and pressing forward to the goal.” I would love to see our people heal from the hurts of yesterday and move forward as a body of believers.


Paper or Plastic

Fiction or non-fiction? Non-fiction
Music or talk radio? Talk radio
Sushi or Burger? Burger
Facebook, Email, Pinterest, Twitter, or texting
(don’t pick Fax)? Facebook
Tie or No Tie? Tie
Mac or PC? Mac

©2015 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists