Pastor brings new perspective to Mount Holly’s First Methodist

by Alan Hodge

Rev. Angela Pleasants is the first African-American and female to lead the congregation of Mount Holly First United Methodist Church. (Alan Hodge/MIM photo)

CHARLOTTE – The Rev. Angela Pleasants made history when she walked through the door of Mount Holly First United Methodist Church.
Not only is Pleasants the first woman to lead the historic congregation, but she also is the first African-American to hold that post since the church was founded in 1883.
Pleasants replaced the Rev. Larry Kimel, who recently retired.
A native of Greensboro, Pleasants has been on the job at First Methodist and living at the parsonage in town for almost two months. She’s already fallen in love with the community.
“Compared to Charlotte, Mount Holly is a wonderful breath of fresh air,” she said. “I love the fact that I actually know my neighbors.”
Before Bishop Larry Goodpaster assigned Pleasants to the Mount Holly church, she was serving as pastor at Central United Methodist Church in Charlotte. She is a graduate of Duke University Divinity School, where she earned a master’s degree. She also has a bachelor’s degree in business marketing from N.C. Agricultural and Technical University. She was ordained in the year 2000.
According to Pleasants, the path to the pulpit meant forgoing a life as a lawyer in favor of what she feels is her true mission.
“I was intent on studying law,” she said. “But God called me.”
Pleasants believes she has a gift for connecting with people. “I have a strong passion for people and witnessing,” she said.
Those people skills will likely come into play with plans Pleasants has to form support groups for people in grief or going through a divorce.
She intends to keep the current style of worship at First United Methodist but leans toward a blending of traditional and contemporary styles. “I like a bit of both,” she said. “But the main thing is we worship God.”
Pleasant’ has a favorite Bible verse, Second Timothy, 3:16-17, and she feels it sums up her feeling about ministry.
“We have to be equipped in the Word,” she said, “especially in this world, where it’s sometimes watered down.”
When she’s not at her desk or answering the needs of the congregation, Pleasants unwinds in an unusual way.
“I enjoy boxing,” she said. “My interest in it started about eight years ago, when I was traveling quite a bit. At first, it was a means of self defense. Now I see it as a passion.”
Pleasants is also an avid runner and can be seen early mornings moving along the pavement in and around Mount Holly.
“I try to run five miles,” she said. “I’m still learning my way around the area.”
Pleasants welcomes everyone in the community to visit First United Methodist in Mount Holly, at 104 N. Main St. in downtown Mount Holly. Her email address is revaplesants@yahoo.com, and the church phone number is 704-827-4855.

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