Guest column By Leah Simpkins
Pastoral ministry can take on many forms and for Dr. Aaron Mobley that form has been prison chaplaincy.
Mobley graduated from Clear Creek in 2002 after commuting from Manchester, and he followed that degree with a Master of Arts, a Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry.
Mobley has filled various ministry positions, including pastoring Gray Fork Baptist Church in Manchester, starting a ministry and running a production company, which he still manages part time.
But for Mobley, prison ministry is his passion and he found his way to that ministry through a friend—the same one who pointed him to college.
“My former pastor and mentor, Scottie Sumner, was the senior chaplain at the Federal Bureau of Prisons,” said Mobley. “He is the one who encouraged me to attend Clear Creek, seminary and prison chaplaincy. Scottie Sumner is also an alumni of Clear Creek. He is a wonderful man with a heart for God. I respect him dearly.”
Mobley has spent nearly 30 years in prison chaplaincy and although he retired in July 2017, he went back to chaplaincy in November 2017.
Mobley’s extensive education offered him an opportunity to help others through writing a book, “Fear No Evil: A Guide For Prison Chaplaincy.”
“The book is a result of my doctoral thesis from seminary,” said Mobley. “I wanted to do a thesis that was practical in nature. There is not a lot of information on prison chaplaincy, and I wanted to assist future and current chaplains to be more successful in their ministry.”
Mobley credits much of his spiritual growth and instruction to Clear Creek and calls other students to cherish their time at the school.
“My time at Clear Creek was probably the best and most spiritual growth in my entire life,” said Mobley. “I can’t encourage the younger students enough to savor every minute of instruction and fellowship while they are at Clear Creek. One day you will look back and deeply cherish those moments.”
Mobley also cautions students not to become overconfident because of their degree.
“Let me say this about Bible college or seminary. Neither can truly prepare you for ministry, but what it can do, “said Mobley, “is give you the tools needed to be faithful with the preaching of God’s Word or administering an organization in a godly manner.”