Mayor Jim Luke Surprises Local Pastor with Key to the City

Published 10:35 am Friday, October 20, 2023

In an unexpected turn of events during this week’s City Council meeting, Mayor Jim Luke presented Pastor Darrell Worley of Christian Life Assembly of God with the Key to the City, marking Pastor Appreciation Month. The recognition honored Worley’s ongoing efforts in supporting the Picayune community.

Worley has played a significant role in Picayune, providing spaces for worship and spiritual guidance to the city’s workforce, including its police officers. His work has allowed busy individuals to maintain faith amid their demanding schedules.

His family influenced Worley’s path to ministry. His father and grandfather both served as pastors, leading to his early familiarity with faith. “Knowing God was just part of who we were as a family,” Worley noted.

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However, the decision to become a minister was a challenging one. In his younger years, he had no desire to follow in his family’s footsteps. “I didn’t want to be a minister when I was younger,” he confessed. Yet, his faith remained unwavering. “I never wanted to run from God,” he emphasized.

The Unexpected Key to the City presentation took Worley by surprise. “My initial reaction was that my family was not there,” he commented. However, the city had organized his friends and family to surprise him. Despite his usual eloquence, the tribute left him briefly at a loss for words. “I’m not typically speechless, but I was at that moment,” he said.

Worley expressed his gratitude and honor, saying, “I thought it was going to be a routine thing but turned into something far more than that.” Attendees joined in applauding his dedication to the Picayune community.

Mayor Luke, who organized the surprise, commended Worley’s significant contribution to the city. “Pastor Worley has been a beacon of support and spirituality in our community,” the mayor noted. “His tireless work in creating spaces for worship and offering support to our city’s workers is commendable.”

Pastor Worley’s journey from hesitant ministry candidate to a respected spiritual leader exemplifies an individual’s profound impact on a community, bringing people closer to their faith and each other.