Lamont felt calling in college to become minister

info@islandpacket.comNovember 5, 2011 

Called to Faith is a monthly series profiling leaders of local congregations.

The Rev. Dr. Ian Lamont knows that life doesn't always turn out the way you expect. He said he always wanted to be a high school history teacher, but God had other plans.

He said when he was in college he started feeling God was calling him to be a minister.

"It is not a job," Lamont said. "And it is not a profession. ... It's a calling."

Lamont had grown up in a Christian home. He said he gave his life to Christ at age 5 at Vacation Bible School, and he rededicated his life at age 19.

Lamont said he has been an ordained minister for 24 years and has led all three denominations of the Presbyterian church. He also ran a rescue mission for a year and a half in Mobile, Ala.

On Oct. 1 he became the first pastor of Trinity Church on Hilton Head Island. He said a group of Hilton Head residents who wanted a more conservative Presbyterian church started Trinity at the beginning of the year as a mission church of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. They talked to the EPC about affiliating and looked for a pastor until they found Lamont. He said various people filled the pulpit and taught Sunday school while they searched and waited for a pastor.

"I think this group of people in this church are probably the most talented, most gifted, most spiritual group of folks I've ever pastored," Lamont said. "They really want to be used by God to minister to others and have made themselves available to that. Starting a church is not for the weak-hearted."

Before moving to Hilton Head, Lamont and his family lived in St. Louis for five years. Originally from Ontario, Canada, he has also lived in Toronto and Alberton, Canada; Mobile, Ala.; Voorhees, N.J.; and Fort Myers, Fla.

Lamont said he met his wife, Linda, when he was in seminary and she was in graduate school in Mississippi. They have been married for 26 years and have four children, ranging in age from 11 to 24. Three of the four children have left home. The fourth, Josiah, is home-schooled and is in the fifth grade.

Lamont said he and Linda had always talked about moving to South Carolina, but they had no idea they actually would. So they were thrilled when he was asked to take the new position on Hilton Head.

While the church waits for its building to be renovated, the congregation meets at the Crowne Plaza Resort on Hilton Head. They are worshipping in private for now and will invite the public to attend services starting Nov. 20. When renovations are completed, the church will meet in the storefront next door to Food Lion on Palmetto Bay Road. Lamont said the work should be done by the end of December.

For now, he said the church -- made up of about 60 members -- is just trying to figure out what God wants them to do next.

"We consider ourselves blessed in order to be a blessing," Lamont said. "A lot of folks in the church realize that they've been blessed by God in a lot of ways ... They want to be active with what they have. So we're looking for ways to carry the gospel into the community."

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