A Georgia Mom Has a Dilemma: Both of her Sons Are Local Pastors. Which Church Does She Attend?

Mary Jo Snead with her sons Carlos (left) and Ernest (Larry Gierer, The Ledger-Enquirer)
Mary Jo Snead with her sons Carlos (left) and Ernest (Larry Gierer, The Ledger-Enquirer)

It was no surprise to Mary Jo Snead when her son, Carlos, became a pastor.

“When he was just a boy, I could hear him preaching in the bathroom,” she said. “I had to tell him to hush.”

The decision by her eldest son, Ernest, was a bit more of a surprise. It took him a bit longer to get the calling.

Each Sunday morning, the Columbus woman has a decision to make and that is which son to go hear preach.

Ernest Snead IV is pastor at Faithful Missionary Baptist Church in Phenix City. Carlos Snead is pastor at Faithful Missionary Baptist Church in Columbus. Both churches average more than 100 people at Sunday services.

The brothers were born and raised in Columbus and are graduates of Spencer High School.

“I am proud of them and try to go to both churches,” said their mom.

Her husband, Ernest Snead III, died in 2012. A pastor for about 30 years, he founded the Phenix City church a son now leads.

Neither parent pushed their boys toward the ministry. A third son Tramaine is a forklift operator in Virginia.

“I know how hard a job being a pastor can be,” she said.

The sons agree.

“You have to be called to this job,” said Carlos Snead, 34, who celebrates his first year at his church on Sunday. Previously, he has served as pastor at three Alabama churches.

“You have to have the right temperament to deal with the people. Everyone wants something different,” said Ernest Snead, 36, who is in his fifth year as pastor of his church.

The Sneads say it can be a struggle pleasing the older members who like things a little more traditional and the younger ones who want a church to be more modern and offer much in the way of activities.

Ernest Snead was not sure he wanted the job. He recalled his father asking him about taking the new role as pastor.

“I told him no,” he said.

His father’s death just two days later played a role in changing his mind.

Ernest Snead got involved with church work while stationed in Hawaii with the U.S. Air Force.

“My wife, Korri, and I got leadership positions at a church there,” he said.

Coming back, he was made a deacon and worked under his father in Phenix City.

The sons recall their father as a “powerful, dynamic speaker.”

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The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer