HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - A Pine Belt bishop has made history for the second time, not only for his church but also for the state of Mississippi.
Bishop Randall Silas is the first black man to hold the office of bishop in the Hattiesburg stake. He was announced this week as a counselor in the Hattiesburg stake presidency. The stake makes up the area from Meridian to Bogalusa, LA, serving 3,400 members in 11 congregations.
"It's more than just my race," says Silas. "It's an opportunity for me to invite others to follow the example of Jesus Christ."
Stake President Kevin Pack says the decision to call Silas was obvious.
"Not a hard decision at all," says Pack. "An asset, if anything. I knew he would be a wonderful leader that many would look to with confidence."
Silas was raised in Hattiesburg and graduated from Blair High School in 1983. He was professionally trained at Jones County Junior College as a radiologic technologist and is currently employed by both Magee General Hospital and the Family Practice & After-Hours Clinic of Hattiesburg. He is married to Betty Silas, and they have five children and four grandchildren.
"It doesn't matter who we are as individuals," says Silas. "Anybody can serve the Heavenly Father in any capacity as long as they're willing to keep the covenants that they make with Him."