Turner Arant: Why I Choose The United Methodist Church

The early years of my life were in a Union Church where we had a Baptist preacher twice a month and a Methodist preacher twice a month. My family has been Methodist for more than 80 years. As I grew up, I was active in the church. I married at the age of 21 and my wife was a strong Christian. We were both active in the church.

I like the connectional issue because I feel at home in any UMC I have attended. Many of the friendships we have made through the years have been through the Methodist church. I believe the theology of the UMC is Biblically based.

The Wesleyan theology of prevenient grace, justifying grace, and sanctifying grace appeals to me as the basic teaching of Jesus Christ. I believe our Book of Discipline is soundly based on Biblical beliefs. This is why I choose the United Methodist Church.

Turner Arant, a Connectional Table member from the Southeastern Jurisdiction, is a member of First UMC in Indianola, Mississippi. He has served as first lay delegate to four General Conferences since 2000 and serves on the SEJ Episcopacy committee, the United Methodist Higher Education Foundation and several other United Methodist and community organizations. Turner is married to the former Sybil Kirk. They have a son, two daughters, and five grandchildren.

Turner is an award-winning catfish farmer. In 1962 he was one of the first to begin the production of catfish in the Mississippi Delta. In 1982 he received the Farmer of the Year Award from the Catfish Farmers of America. He received the Mississippi State University Agribusiness Award in production agriculture. In 1987 he was recognized as Mississippi Farmer of the Year awarded by Mississippi Department of Agriculture and sponsored by Mississippi Satellite Network. He was recognized by Mississippi State University as Alumnus of the Year for Agriculture. He is a board member of Community Bank of Mississippi, Farmers Grain Terminal, and Delta Western Catfish Feed Mill. He served six years on the United States Department of Agriculture Research Board for Agriculture.

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