Donald Solomon brings wisdom, experience to Courtland BaptistPublished 10:45am Friday, July 12, 2013
BY MERLE MONAHAN/CONTRIBUTING WRITER
COURTLAND–The associate pastor at Courtland Baptist Church, here for less than a year, may be new to this church, but he is not new to preaching the word of God.
The Rev. Donald Solomon, 71, a pastor and Christian counselor, began his ministry in 1965 and for nearly 50 years has traveled from Mississippi to Texas, Pennsylvania and Virginia to minister in whatever capacity God called him.
Solomon came to Courtland in September as an assistant to the Rev. Tommy Spade, he said.
“Courtland Baptist Church has grown so much in the last few years that the Rev. Spade realized he needed some help,” said Solomon. “He had heard about me and my Christian counseling practice, so he approached me and asked if I would take on the job as his assistant.”
Solomon said he prayed about the offer and felt that God had called him to Courtland.
“It has worked out wonderfully,” he added. “My wife and I moved from Suffolk to Franklin, where I opened my Christian counseling practice on Main Street.”
Solomon says he spends about 25 hours per week working, including counseling, at church in Courtland and from 15 to 18 hours at his business in Franklin.
He added that counseling at church is free, while he operates his business in Franklin as any professional would.
Born in Hugo, Okla., Solomon smiled and revealed that he had lived in 12 different places by the time he was 12.
“My dad worked for a company that required him to move a lot,” he said. “But we finally settled in Mississippi, where I attended high school and the University of Southern Mississippi.”
He was brought up as a Christian, and when he about 15, he said, he heard God telling him that He wanted him in the ministry.
“During this time, I had two great mentors—my pastor and one of the deacons—who helped me so much.”
He admits that he strayed a little when he was in the Army and ultimately, college, however. He went through a few years of what he calls being “brain dead.”
“But God has always put people around me to get me back on the right track. By the time I was a senior in college in 1965, I knew that my calling was in some form of the ministry.
“As time went on, I knew that I needed more education, so I began preparing, along with training in the counseling field.”
Solomon holds a Master’s degree in religious education and a PH.D. in philosophy from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
His professional and pastoral experiences are extensive, having served in counseling centers from Fort Worth to Virginia Beach and Hampton.
He is qualified to counsel in any capacity, from drug abuse to marital and family problems.
He also has served churches, large and small in Dallas, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake and Mechanicsburg, Pa.
He says Courtland Baptist has a very good fellowship and he wishes to only amplify what is already here.
“This is a family church,” he added. “We’re all brothers and sisters, who work well together and this is wonderful.”
Solomon hopes to do some in-depth Bible studies in small groups.
“Maybe we could meet in some members’ homes,” he said.
Married for 46 years, Solomon and his wife, Mickey, have two daughters and 11 grandchildren.