Nathan Thompson is new bishop of LDS Columbiana Ward
By PHOEBE DONALD ROBINSON / Community Columnist
Nathan Thompson of Chelsea has been ordained the Columbiana Ward Bishop of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Sunday, Jan. 21 by Bessemer Stake President Peter M. Johnson at the Annual Ward Conference.
The LDS church is organized into groups of members called congregations. A small congregation is called a branch led by a branch president, and a large congregation is called a ward led by a bishop.
Branches and wards are combined in a stake led by a stake president. The Columbiana Ward located on Egg and Butter Road is part of the Bessemer Stake led by Johnson.
The bishop is assisted by the first and second counselors, all voluntary, unpaid positions lasting approximately five years.
It is a great honor to be called to these positions which require great amounts of time and sacrifice on the part of these men and their families.
Duties of the bishops are many and diverse, both temporal and spiritual: Keeping of church records, overseeing and use of church buildings and facilities, oversee use of tithes and fast offerings, common judge for counseling and discipline, preside over ward meetings, conduct ward business, coordinate work and advancement of Melchizedek Priesthood, oversee callings, releases, performance of ordinances and blessings (see lds.manuel/duties.)
Johnson also called John Trey Holman to be first counselor and Darryl McDaniel as second counselor.
Johnson then released Bishop Seth Clayton, First Counselor Nathan Thompson and Second Counselor Carl Doerfler and thanked them for their five years of service.
“Bishop Thompson did not campaign to be your bishop. He was called by God by his relationship with Jesus Christ,” said Johnson. “Bishop Thompson is a man of faith. He will not solve your problems; he is called to teach you.”
Thompson is general manager of Brookwood Medical Center. He and wife Sherri have five children: Erica, Tyler, Cheyenne, Sterling and Chase, who are students at Chelsea High School.
“A bishop must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not addicted to wine, or pugnacious, but gentle, uncontentious, free from the love of money,” I Timothy 3:2-3.