By: Dezaray Barr
Zackry Langford is the Pastor of Surrendered Life Church in Marshall, Michigan. He graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU) with a bachelor’s degree in Biblical Studies in 2010 and from Wesley Seminary with an M. Div. in 2017. “Being a student at IWU solidified my call into the ministry and helped establish a foundation that I have been able to build on ever since. I transferred to IWU in 2007 after attending two other colleges from ‘03-’06, and IWU helped me to grow in my faith as well as help me to discern my next steps into ministry,” Langford said.
As a Pastor, there are moments when Langford feels a peace that surpasses understanding about his call to ministry. “There have been many moments in which I feel like I am on the right path,” Langford said. “To be frank, though, there are many moments in which I wonder if I am on the right track… The big moments are when I get to baptize someone or when I get to be a part of helping someone profess a belief in Jesus for the first time. Those are the moments where I know that I get to be a part of something incredible and that brings meaning to my choice to follow God into this vocation.”
Langford has been challenged, as he completed Seminary and Ordination while working in ministry and raising a young family. “I finally completed both Seminary and became an ordained minister in the Wesleyan Church this past summer, which has been a decade long journey. During that time, I got married (in 2007), had three kids and moved a few times. We still battle with the demands of ministry, raising a family and with a wife who runs a successful business.”
Surrendered Life Church is an incredibly faithful and loving congregation. “What has been both an excitement and a surprise is how willing they have been in taking risks to become the congregation that God wants us to be,” Langford explained about his congregation. “In the three and a half years since we have taken over the congregation, we have had two major fundraising campaigns, changed the name from Marshall Wesleyan Church to Surrendered Life Church and have seen new believers profess a belief in Christ and become baptized.”
If Langford could encourage IWU students, he’d remind them to “Learn how to have a ‘holy discontent’ about the world. I am not sure who coined the term ‘holy discontent,’ but I think it is probably the best way I can describe what it means to have peace and purpose in this life. You have to learn how to be content with whatever your situation is, but also have to have the ability to see what can or needs to be different.”
Written by Dezaray Barr, PR Specialist for the Alumni Office. Dezaray is a junior Strategic Communication, Journalism and Honors Humanities triple major at Indiana Wesleyan University in the John Wesley Honors College. Visit Dez’s website at www.dezaraybarr.weebly.com.