Sometimes our calling finds us. Sometimes we find it. And sometimes after getting turned about, things come full circle and we collide with it while neither of us is looking. For Kelly Haworth the last is true.
From his appearance with his neatly cropped and balding head, black polo with “unibroue” emblazed over the heart, green-gray shorts and running shoes, one could picture this fellow as a beer deliveryman and not a broadcast major with aspirations for a later pastoral study.
This self-employed father of three dropped out of a broadcast journalism degree program in 1988 because of financial reasons to get into the restaurant business.
He spent a great deal of time working jobs in the hospitality industry eventually becoming a manager at several restaurants.
“I’m not the guy that picked one company,” Haworth said. “I’d learn things here and learn things there.”
During much of the time in this period, from ages 18 to 28, he was a bar fly, turning away from the church that was “focused on outward appearances,” he said.
While faith has always been a large portion of his life, he largely disagrees with the idea that there are “too many divisions in Christianity,” he said.
“They divide over things that are trivial and focus on not going to the bar, instead of helping the guy that’s starving.”
An illustration of this, in his life, is also the pivotal event in which he chose to become a pastor.
Prior to the birth of first child, Kelly started attending church more and going to the bar less.
At one evening Bible study, he heard the story of a fellow who frequented a bar in town that paralleled his own story.
After some time this gentleman fell ill and had to be cared for in his home. Hayworth said almost none of the congregation of his church came to visit him but “the [entire] bar he’d had forgotten about did.”
In that moment he railed against what the church is, and internally vowed to change it.
In 1999 he set out to find a Bible college that offered pastoral studies. Though many of his options were unaccredited, last year he found the New Orleans Baptist Seminary that was.
As if life had a sense of humor, this school’s online program requires that a student have an associate’s degree, any associate’s degree, to enroll, which brings Kelly here to complete his broadcasting degree.
Hayworth said he intends to graduate from OCCC this summer. He said he believes staying in the broadcast journalism degree will help his diction through audio classes.
He hopes to have the ability to write so he may “have the opportunity in the church and in the secular world for income.”
Also Hayworth believes that “any type communication will help” him to tell others about his faith.
To contact Michael Wormley,