Darrell Gill has been a prominent leader in DeKalb County his entire life. Along with his wife, Beth, he has been a Smithville business owner, an avid youth sports leader, and even been involved in Leadership DeKalb. But in recent years the Gills have found a new calling, one that has led them to helm two different local churches.
“I answered my call to preach about six years ago,” Gill told the Smithville Review. “I ran for two years from my calling, and nobody really knew but my wife Beth. I decided that God couldn't use someone like me. It's just the doubt, and how Satan gets in your head.”
Gill said it was through the power of prayer that he found his purpose, and with the help of some friends it set him on a new path. “So then, we were at Emmaus Candlelight Service, and one of the women at my church said she didn't know why, but she felt like God was telling her to pray over me. So, four or five women from the church actually prayed over me, and I knew why they were praying over me.”
“The next evening was a Sunday, and my pastor's wife, Christie Colwell, she came and got me. She said that the Holy Spirit told her she needed to pray, and I said 'I know why.' I answered my call that night.”
Gill explained that his new calling seemed to come at the right moment for him and others. “The next Saturday morning, me and a few of my friends always meet for coffee and most of them are pastor friends, and Brother Phil Tollett has been my mentor, I told them I had accepted my call to preach on Sunday night. Tollett said, 'That's going to work out perfect. We're starting revival tomorrow and the pastor that's coming to lead can't be there tomorrow night. I need you to preach tomorrow night.' So, my first time preaching was at Allens Chapel, and Brother Phil lined that up for me, only a week after I answered my call.”
But Gill said that he felt that God had a bigger purpose that just preaching the Word. He explained that he felt the need to lead. “When I first accepted my call I felt like, 'Yeah, God can use me.’ I can be an evangelist and go preach places. Again, I didn't believe I could be a pastor, but God just revealed to me that yes I can be a pastor, and He needed me to be a pastor.”
“So, I became the Associate Pastor at Smithville Nazarene Church,” Gill continued. “They were so wonderful to me, and accepted me in. Brother Trent, a dear friend of mine, allowed me opportunity in the pulpit to preach, and the congregation accepted me. I had a great four or five years at Smithville Nazarene.”
Gill said that he has preached in several denominations, and that first and foremost he is a follower of Jesus Christ. “I’ve preached in five different denominations since I answered my call. The way I explain that is that before I belong to any denomination, I'm a follower of Jesus Christ. I don't get hung up over the name over the door. I just feel like we need a great revival in this country. All Christians, let's put our differences aside, and become one.”
After that Gill said that he felt the Lord was calling him to do his own thing, meaning him and his wife going to their own ministry. “I knew there was a need in the Methodist church,” Gill explained. “So I went and interviewed with the district superintendent in Cookeville, and told her I wanted to be a pastor in DeKalb County. I never dreamed I would get Allen’s and Buckner’s Chapel, where I've preached before, and filled in for Brother Phil several times in the past. God worked it all out.”
Gill said that he takes over on June 27, preaching at Buckner’s Chapel at 9:30 AM on Sunday, then at Allen’s Chapel at 11:00 AM. He said that eventually he hopes to start evening services, with perhaps a Wednesday evening service at Buckner’s Chapel, and a Sunday evening at Allen’s Chapel.
According to Gill, the two churches have their own identity and offer different things to different people. “Allen’s Chapel has had a food ministry for 17 years now,” Gill said. “On Saturday mornings it's a food giveaway for the community, which is a great outreach. I'm excited about getting involved in that program, and getting to know people in the community. It's a more contemporary style, with contemporary music.”
“Buckner’s Chapel has a great location,” Gill continued. “I think we can get some weekend lake people to come to church at our early 9:30 service. It's a more traditional style church, with traditional music, praise, and worship.”
Of course Gill said that everyone is welcome at either church. “If you're not in church, we would love to have you, and even if you are in church, we'd love to have you visit us sometime. There are wonderful people at both churches, and Beth and I just need your prayers. This is new to us being out on our own.”
“God has a calling for your life,” Gill said. “It may not be for preaching, but whatever it is, just be prayed up and ready to say 'Yes,' whatever calling comes. He can use you no matter how much you think He can't. Again, Satan wants to get in your head, and it don't matter where you're at with your walk with Jesus, if Satan is not after you, he's already got you.”