Cloyce Thornton, who has been preaching since 1976, is the new pastor of Lawrence Friends Church.
The new pastor of a local church said his style is one of making people feel at home.
``I like to shake hands with people when I'm preaching to them,'' said Cloyce Thornton, 55, new pastor at Lawrence Friends Church, 1601 N.H.
``I like for people to feel at home when they're in a church,'' he said. ``If you can't feel at home in church, where in the world can you feel at home?''
Thornton and his wife, Patsy, moved to Lawrence June 17 from Hallowell.
``I think it's great,'' Thornton said of Lawrence.
``It has a good atmosphere. It's clean. The people seem happy. The people seem contented here. They seem to respect one another.''
Thornton, a native of Washington Court House, Ohio, who has been a pastor since 1976, has led congregations in Tucson, Ariz.; Wichita; Denver; and Kansas City, Kan.
``I just felt like I was called,'' he said. ``I just felt like the Lord called me, so I went to Bible school and here I am.''
Thornton said he looks to increase membership at Friends, which has 22 members now.
``We'll be doing some calling on people,'' he said. ``It's a beautiful church,'' he said of Friends. ``And they have a lot of love and a desire to grow.''
Thornton said he and his wife are both musically inclined, and enjoy performing gospel.
Thornton plays seven musical instruments.
``I believe music is an important part of the worship,'' he said.
Thornton said anyone is welcome to stop by the church and attend services or say hello.
Friends has Sunday school at 9:30 a.m. and services at 10:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. Sundays. Services also are held at 7 p.m. Wednesdays. A youth service for adolescents and teens is at 6 p.m. Wednesdays.
``My motto is you are never a stranger when you are in your father's house,'' Thornton said.
-- Mike Dekker's phone message number is 832-7187. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.