Bro. David has been the pastor of New Harvest since it was founded in 1993. He and his wife of thirty-three years have two children both of whom are married. They have one granddaughter, and Mona is the praise leader for the church. Originally he grew up in Purvis, Mississippi, and his parents live there still. He graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi and attended seminary in New Orleans. Currently he teaches social studies at West Lauderdale High School where he has been the “Voice of the Knights” football team for ten years.
Bro. Chris Smith has been a part of New Harvest since 1994. He has been active in leading the youth and teaching in Bible study. The church licensed him into the ministry in 1998, and he became an associate pastor in 2005. Bro. Chris, a fulltime outside parts salesman, will soon complete his ninth year of employment with Waters International. He has been married to Brooke for eleven years, and they have one daughter.
Bro. Chris grew up in the Vardaman community in Kemper County, where his parents still reside, and he made Jesus his Lord and Savior at Tucker Community Church.
Bro. Brandon has been an associate pastor of New Harvest Church for about the last 18 months. He has been married for just over four years and is the proud father of two chocolate Labrador retrievers. His wife Erin is a pharmacist at Anderson Hospital in Meridian, MS. He graduated from the University of Mississippi in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. At New Harvest Bro. Brandon serves on the praise team singing tenor as well as ministering in the youth department, “Enoch.” He teaches high school at West Lauderdale and serves as both the offensive line and power lifting coach there. A member of the church since it’s founding in 1993, he has spent the majority of his lifetime attending New Harvest Church.
“Thank you for the opportunity to serve here at New Harvest. I’ve spent my life here and I owe the formation of Christ within me to this body and those who serve to ensure its preservation. Again I thank you.”
Brooke Dewease Smith has been a member of New Harvest Church since its inception in 1993. Since then she has served as a singer on the church praise team, and, as the needs of the church have grown and changed, she has served in a variety of capacities including as a teacher and director in the children and youth ministries. She has been married to Bro. Chris Smith, associate pastor, for eleven years and is currently the mother of one daughter.
In a pastor’s home, Brooke grew up moving as God lead the family to new places of service but has called Meridian her home since 1989. She completed her undergraduate and graduate work at the University of Southern Mississippi, and she currently is a part-time speech-language pathologist and a stay-home mom.
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.” I Peter 2:9
Mona started a lifetime of service through church music as pianist for her home church at age thirteen. She studied music at Jones County Junior College. As a music major at William Carey College, she met & married Bro. David in 1975. As a young minister’s wife in pursuit of greater counseling skills, she earned a BS in Psychology at the University of Southern Mississippi. Mona has continued to serve on staff with her husband as minister of music throughout the majority of their ministry.
Since New Harvest Church started in 1993, she has led the church into freedom through praise & worship. She and the Praise Team, Brooke Smith, Bro. Brandon, Mickey Thompson, and Bro. David, lead in a contemporary style of worship. Although Mona tries to stay on the cutting edge of contemporary music, she doesn’t get too far from her roots, including the old classic hymns as the Spirit leads. Mona believes that freedom in praise & worship is not just a new style of music. It is the by-product of a personal encounter with Jesus. He can be worshiped in Spirit & in truth by all ages through all styles of Christian music. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and He alone is worthy to be praised.
Mona gives God all the glory for the opportunity she has had to serve Him through music. She attributes her success to her parents, Myrtle Rushton of Laurel and the late Max Rushton for the years of discipline & encouragement she received as a child. In addition to leading in Praise & Worship, Mona leads the women’s ministry at NHC. She has taught private music lessons in her home for the last thirty-five years.