Jason Murphy has traded in his catcher's mask for the pulpit and now the pen.
Murphy, the pastor of First Assembly of God Church in Collierville, Tenn., has published his first book, “All Things New.”
Released earlier this week by Main Street Books, “All Things New” is based on Rev. 21:5.
“When we place our faith in Jesus Christ, He makes all things new,” said Murphy, the son of Dell and Judy Murphy of Bastrop. “He gives us a new mind and new hope. It's an encouraging book.”
Murphy took on the project after a church member introduced him to publisher Jonathan Lindburg.
“Writing a book was something I have always kind of wanted to do,” Murphy said. “One of our church members knew Jonathan. We started talking and turned my transcripts into a book.”
Like many — it would probably be accurate to say most — ministers, Murphy never intended to become a preacher.
“That was not on the radar,” Murphy said.
Murphy says the call to preach came under humble circumstances.
“Oddly enough, it happened when I was going to college,” said Murphy, who was a junior at Libscomb (Tenn.) University at the time. “I was going to church in Nashville at Oak Hill Assembly and became friends with the youth pastor. One Saturday night, I was helping the youth pastor clean the church, getting it ready for Sunday morning. While I was vacuuming the floor, the Lord called me to preach. It changed my life, obviously.”
Although there was no burning bush, bright lights or an audible voice, Murphy said the call to the ministry was unmistakable.
“It was not an audible voice — it was so strong, it seemed like it,” Murphy said. “It was in my heart.”
Heeding the call, Murphy began preaching right away at truck stops, homeless shelters, prisons and even on street corners.
Graduating from college a year later, in 1999, Murphy stepped into the youth pastor's role at Oak Hill Assembly when his friend moved out of state.
“Right about the time I graduated from college, the door opened and I went into the ministry full-time,” Murphy said.
Returning closer to home, Murphy pastored his first church, Rayville Assembly of God, before moving to New Life Assembly of God in Owasso, Okla.
An All-State catcher at Prairie View, Murphy went on to play college baseball at Hinds (Miss.) Community College and Lipscomb where he majored in political science with a minor in communications.
Murphy and his wife, the former Kelly Higginbotham of Bastrop, reside in Olive Branch, Miss. with their three children — Josiah (9), Kylah (7) and Moriah (2).
“All Things New” is available through the Collierville Assembly web site at www.colliervilleag.com.
Page 2 of 2 - Murphy's sermons, both live stream and archived, may be heard at www.colliervilleag.com.