How old are you and where are you from?
Born in Little Rock, AR. I spent my youth mostly in north central Arkansas, took a job in Texas in ’84 and stayed 15 years, a short stint in Missouri, then back to Arkansas until 2016 when we moved here. I got to Kansas as soon as I could, but it took 60 years.
What about your family?
Donna and I have been married since Feb. ’99, but we’ve known each other forever (since ’81). She has a son, Aaron, who we raised together since he was 14, so he’s mine, too. He and his wife, Amy, live in Liberty, MO, and have Braylon, who was born in 2014.
What about your wife?
Donna has lived mostly in Arkansas and Missouri. She has her bachelor’s in biology, and her MBA. She is the Administrative Assistant to the Office of Congregational Care of the Great Plains Conference of the United Methodist Church. Her office is in Topeka, just a few doors down from the bishop. Her favorite thing is being “De-De” to grandson, Braylon.
What’s your favorite team?
Anything Razorback! We’re both Hog fans through and through even though I graduated from the “other” university in Arkansas, Arkansas State University in Jonesboro. (BS Radio/TV Communications ’78). We’re trying to like the Chiefs and Royals, but it’s a learning process.
What did your parents do?
Besides raise my two older sisters and me, my dad was a United Methodist pastor also, from ’64 to his death in ’84, so I knew what I was getting into! Mom was a pastor’s wife and homemaker—another fulltime job.
What would you be doing if you weren’t a pastor?
I’d probably be one of the world’s oldest DJ’s; that’s what I did for the 36 years before I got into this pastoring business. Everything radio from announcing to ownership.
Got any hobbies?
I used to play a lot of golf, until Donna and I bought a boat. It’s at Perry Lake and we feel guilty if we’re not on it. (I named it “Visitation”. Think about that for a minute.) We love to fish, especially for bass and crappie. I also love being “Pop” to grandson Braylon.
Got any talents?
I play a little guitar and sing. Donna plays the piano.
When did you become a pastor and where have you served?
I was licensed to preach in July of 2010, becoming a Licensed Local Pastor, completed Course of Study at St. Paul School of Theology in July 2015, and became an Associate Member of the Great Plains Annual Conference In June 2017. I served Sidney and Guion UMCs in AR as a supply pastor in 2009-1010; Hazel Edwards Memorial/Oil Trough (AR) 2010-2013 (full-time); Huntsville/Presley Chapel (AR) 2013-2016 (full-time); Richmond/Princeton (KS) 2016-2017 (half-time); Lecompton (KS) 2017-present (full-time).
What’s your favorite thing about being a pastor?
I love to preach and, really, everything about researching and writing a sermon. But the best thing is being in the middle of a group of people who are all about bringing the Kingdom of God closer to everyone around them—by feeding the hungry, watering the thirsty, clothing the unclothed, healing the sick, giving hope to the hopeless…being a part of God’s mission to change lives and transform the world. That’s really why the church exists, isn’t it?
If you’ve got any more questions for pastor Rob, email email@example.com.
Pastor Rob and Donna Ernest