Hood assumes leadershipOdessa American, Texas — Bob Campbell Odessa American, Texas
May 23-- May 23--Working with his third denomination, the Rev. Larry Hood says all Christians, particularly those in West Texas, have a lot in common.
The 58-year-old native Odessan served Baptist churches in San Angelo, Bedford and Rockwall, then was pastor of the Lutheran Church of the Risen Lord here before recently assuming the pastorate of St. Andrew Cumberland Presbyterian Church.
"Folks are folks, ministry is ministry and God's word is God's word," Hood said. "None of that has changed. Most churches in West Texas are very conservative with their beliefs. They just put a little different emphasis on how they do church.
"Most people know what they have done wrong. They don't need to hear that from me. They want to know what they have to do to get it right."
Hood's 1415 N. Grandview Ave. church averages 60 people at its 11 a.m. Sunday services.
He is a Permian High School graduate who took a bachelor's degree in business administration at Angelo State University and a master's at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth. He and his wife Linda have two children.
As a former Home Hospice chaplain who attended over 1,000 deaths, Hood says his work there made him a better pastor. "I learned how amazing the human spirit is," he said.
"People rose to the occasion and found strength, laughter, love and healing in the last days of their lives. I often thought, if this person can do this in the worst times, what do I have to complain about?
"There is a spirit and a peace when God shows up. If I hadn't believed in God before, I would now."
Home Hospice Chaplain Jimmy Braswell said Hood "is a fine minister who is experienced not just in ministry but in life.
"Larry has a wonderful sense of humor," Braswell said. "You can let your hair down with him. He is open-minded and non-judgmental. He draws on his background and has an innate ability to counsel."
A golfer who usually plays when he travels, Hood has written and plans to publish a book called "The Golf Ball Doesn't Lie."
One of the lessons I've learned from golf is that you can't play a birdie game with a bogie attitude," he said. "The golf course is always one of the prettiest parts of a city and Linda and I take cheese crackers to feed the animals.
"So many people miss the beauty of the moment because they're distracted."
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