I started my walk in ministry when I was a young musician playing in various churches and following where the Lord led me. Later on as I grew in the Lord he saw fit to put more responsibilities on my shoulders. He led me to keep doing Music Ministry but also accepting the call to be a ministry of word and sacraments.
I started doing small home missions and bible study groups and then became the assistant Rector of St. Matthias Mission in Lenoir City. It was while being the assistant Rector that I started walking in my journey of becoming a local pastor with the UMC, first becoming a lay speaker and working with lay ministry after becoming a member of the Order of St. Luke. It was during this journey that I had to step away from active ministry because of my professional career as a law enforcement officer.
I had been out of ministry for close to a year when an opportunity came for me to accept another position so that I would be able to return to active ministry. Unfortunately I wasn't able to return to ministry in the UMC and God led me to a mission church that operates within the First United Methodist Church of Sweetwater. It was while filling in behind the pulpit for the pastor and serving as the music director/minister for the mission that I sought holy orders and unfortunately a non-denominational church cannot issue license or ordination for holy orders. That is when I started to really pray for God to lead me and guide me where he wanted me to minister.
God led me to the Anglican Orthodox Southern Episcopal Church, which is a continuing Anglican Tradition Church. I have kept with my original teachings in the church and Wesleyan teachings as well, for example I still use the UMC book of Worship as the primary book for my services within the church as well as the 1928 BCP on occasions when I am in Nashville at the main church.
I was Incarnated / Ordained into the “Anglican Orthodox” Southern Episcopal Church, of the United States of America by the Presiding Bishop, The Most Reverend Huron Manning on February 7, 2016 at All Saints Cathedral in Nashville, Tennessee. It was while being a priest in the AOSEC that I was appointed as Chaplain for The Rt. Rev. Jim Barton of Oklahoma, and I was also appointed Dean of East Tennessee. One of the accomplishments I am ever so proud of was founding/planting the Church of the Good Shepherd.
In middle to late 2020 I started feeling called to leave the AOSEC and return to my original roots in the Methodist Church. After much prayer, speaking with family and friends, and also speaking to my Bishop, I decided to leave the AOSEC. My last official day as a priest with the church was December 31, 2020. This was also the last day for the Church of the Good Shepherd to be a member of the AOSEC as well.
Since leaving the AOSEC I have since been incarnated into the Methodist Episcopal Church, International and still serve as pastor of the Church of the Good Shepherd in Philadelphia Tennessee as well as head pastor of the Church of the Good Shepherd Kenya Mission.
I look forward to the many more years of service for God and our community.
The Rev. Jason W. Crowder Pastor/Founder
The Rev. Jason Crowder resides in Sweetwater, Tennessee with his wife Addie and their two children, Kelsie and Liam.