By Louie Graves
There was something different about worship services on Sunday, Aug. 7, at Ridgeway Baptist Church.
It was the first Sunday in more than seven years that Bro. Larry Sherman wasn’t preaching from the pulpit of the church. “I was attending as a member,” Rev. Sherman recalls that day.
His last day as pastor of the church was Sunday, July 31, when he told his congregation that “Ridgeway was a beautiful promise from God, and has been a wonderful place to serve.”
After seven years and seven months as pastor of the church, he and his wife, Gwen, have sorta retired. They plan to remain in Nashville, and Larry will be able to supply for other churches and pastors as needed.
He became fulltime pastor at Ridgeway on Jan. 1, 2009, and there is a memorable tale about how the Shermans became a part of the Nashville community. They were driving toward Nashville, hopeful of getting some kind of confirmation of the place God was leading them to serve. Just outside of town, they spotted a business with a large sign:
Gwen said that for her husband, this was the affirmation he had searched for.
Sherman describes his church career as “40 years called by the spirit of God.” He says he knew from an early age that he was meant to preach the Gospel.
He has had church assignments at Hot springs, Pine Bluff, Greenwood, Mena, Little Rock, Jonesboro and with the Arkansas Baptist State Convention, before they found their ‘Place.’
Gwen said that Larry is one of six men in his immediate family called to preach. His grandfather, Sam Sherman, preached 60 years; his father, Emmett Sherman, preached 40 years; his father-in-law, O.R. Looper, preached more than 50 years; his son, Robby, is pastor of First Baptist Church in England, Ark., and his son-in-law, Allen Morton, is pastor of Chenal Valley Baptist Church in Little Rock.
The Shermans also have four grandchildren who might get a little more of their time.