We live in a digital age, and it’s not lost on me that one of the first things people of the UM church do is google the person announced as their new pastor. So, to the folks of Adams UMC and Sweetwater UMC who have found my website: Hello!
My name is Jonathan Tullos (Tull-is), and I’m excited to join you all soon. I’m originally from Philadelphia, Mississippi, and I’ve been a pastor since 2012. I have degrees from Meridian Community College (2001 – Broadcast Communications), East Central Community College (2012 – Paramedic Science), Liberty University (2015 – Religion) and Asbury Theological Seminary (2019 – Master of Divinity). I was ordained an Elder by Bishop James Swanson in 2022. I’ve enjoyed serving parishes in Meridian, Mississippi; Stanton, Kentucky; George County/Jackson County, Mississippi; and soon, Lincoln County!
I’m married to Jessica (Crosby) Tullos, a Franklin County High School graduate. For her higher education, Jessica attended and earned degrees from Co-Lin, Southern Miss, and Mississippi State. Jessica is excited to be back in an area that she knows as home, reconnect with old friends, and make new ones. Jessica has already been offered a job and intends to teach within the Lincoln County School District when the new school year begins. Some of you may know Jessica’s father, Rev. Johnny Crosby, a former superintendent of the Brookhaven District and former pastor of Jackson Street UMC and Meadville UMC.
We’re licensed foster parents through Mississippi Child Protection Services (CPS) and we currently have two foster children we intend to adopt as soon as they’re legally cleared. We have a seven year old girl who will be entering the second grade and a three year old boy. Please forgive me for not providing their names here. CPS does not allow foster parents to provide identifying information about children in foster care online. They’re both excited about moving to their “new rooms,” and are excited to meet you all. We hope they will be a source of much joy for y’all!
I know you have many questions about me, and I will answer some of them here for you. Please remember, however, that this is a mere snapshot of who I am. You will learn much more about me and my family as we get to know one another and serve God together. The first question I always seem to be asked first is about my theology. If I had to label myself, I’d call myself an orthodox Christian Wesleyan Methodist. Putting our faith into action is vital in reaching people for Christ, especially in a world that trusts the church less and less each year. I believe that all people bear God’s image and need to know how much God and God’s people love them. At Christ’s table, the invitation and welcome are wide. As such, I believe the church should use all means (including digital platforms) for ministry. For a time, I worked for Hard Rock Café, and I like to add a bit to one of their slogans: “(Love God), Love all, serve all.”
The next question I always seem to be asked is my feelings on the Book of Discipline. When I was ordained, I made a vow before God and our annual conference that I would submit to the order and discipline of the United Methodist Church. I took that vow seriously and continue to do so. In short: I will uphold and obey the Book of Discipline.
A final frequently asked question is what I like to be called. Well, you can call me whatever you want, just don’t call me late for supper! Seriously, Brother Jonathan, Pastor Jonathan, or whatever you typically call your pastor is perfectly fine. I rarely use the title “Reverend” in anything but formal settings or in letters.
I hope this gives you a positive first glimpse into me and my family. We’re eager to meet you all and can’t wait to become part of your community and your lives. Once again, know that I’m praying for all of you and your pastors who are also transitioning. Your prayers for us and my current congregations are appreciated. Until moving day, God bless you all! We’ll see you soon.