Owensboro—Larry Birkhead preached his first sermon on Aug. 30, 1964 at South Hampton Baptist Church in Owensboro. It was the beginning of a ministry journey that would lead him to serve at eight Kentucky Baptist churches as senior pastor and three others as interim pastor.
“I knew from age 13 that I wanted to be a preacher,” said Birkhead. “It was just a matter of making myself stay focused and forcing myself to do it.”
Birkhead, who was ordained on June 26, 1966, recently celebrated his 50th anniversary of ministry in a recognition gathering at Daviess-McLean Baptist Association in Owensboro.
He has served as pastor to Mt. Vernon Church in Calhoun, Spottsville Church, Yelvington Church in Maceo, Ghent Church, Pond Run Church in Beaver Dam, New Barren Springs Church in Hopkinsville, Robards Church and Sorgho Church in Owensboro—where he currently serves and has twice served as interim pastor.
“The Lord’s been good to me,” added Birkhead. “I’ve met lots of good people through the years.”
As a child, Birkhead had to have a tonsillectomy, which caused hemorrhaging that nearly killed him. It was then that his mother prayed that his life be given to the Lord for service. This, Birkhead said, was the start of intentional prayer efforts about his ministry future.
“Some people say there isn’t a God, but I knew better,” said Birkhead. “It wasn’t just coincidence that this all happened. All this worked for me.”
The 74-year old Philpot native doesn’t know how much longer he’ll serve Kentucky churches, or where else he might go in the years ahead. But, he knows that he must rely upon the Lord for direction and clarity.
“He’s led me all the way to all these churches,” concluded Birkhead. “As long as my health’s good, I want to serve the Lord.” (WR)