MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

April 16, 2007

Well, I’m proud to be... ‘True’ or ‘transplanted,’ Okies celebrate Muskogee

Reverend sees herself as pastor to pastors

The Rev. Linda Harker has been in Muskogee for less than a year and in her current office on York Street less than seven months.

So Harker, Muskogee District superintendent for the United Methodist Church, surrounds herself with things to keep her grounded in why she is there.

“I try to have symbols of faith to remind me of my calling in life,” she said.

Candles emit a gentle light and sweet aroma to help keep Harker focused on prayer.

“Candles burn to remind me that the Light of Christ is with us.”

A wooden altar faces a wall of crosses and features a padded kneeling bench.

“The altar was built by a pastor,” Harker said. “He knew I intend for this position to be an office of prayer. The first thing I do every morning is pray for the pastors.”

Photographs of children in El Salvador and Panama line Harker’s bookcases, reminding her of what she learned from her mission trips.

“I put the pictures up to remind me that we are called to serve others, to serve the least of these,” she said. “Churches involved in mission are the ones that are growing.”

She framed the words of Methodist Founder John Wesley’s Covenant Prayer and repeats the words each day.

“The prayer centers us to remind us not just who we are, but whose we are,” she said.

However, the Louisiana native and Air Force wife said she not always had such focus in her life.



She grew to be a military wife



The Rev. Linda Harker said her family didn’t go to church much when she grew up in Monroe, La. But she did find a church home, thanks to a Sunday School teacher who would stand on the front steps and welcome her, she said.

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