CANTON, N.C. (BP) – In his own words, worship pastor Nathan Parrish developed his Tik Tok username Original Panda Man because he “was a big guy” and “had dark circles” around his eyes.
Touring with Gospel quartets before he became a fulltime worship pastor, “We stayed up all night long and traveling and I didn’t sleep much, so I always looked like a zombie,” he said Monday (Dec. 14). “We were riding down the road on a bus one day, and one of my friends looked over and said, ‘You look like a big ol’ panda.’ And it just stuck from there.”
The Original Panda Man took to Tik Tok in September at his wife Sarah’s suggestion and expanded to include several online platforms including YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, CashApp and an official website.
The ministry coordinator and worship director of Dutch Cove Missionary Baptist Church in Canton, N.C., uses the platforms to share the unconditional love he learned from a personal relationship with Jesus, forged against the backdrop of a traumatic childhood.
Parrish said his adoptive father and mother were physically and emotionally abusive and eventually turned him over to the care of his adoptive maternal grandparents. For a time, they all lived together and went to church every Sunday, never discussing their struggles outside the home.
Parrish’s first single, “Season Ain’t the Same,” debuted Nov. 5 and gets to the heart of his mission as a pastor, husband, musician and songwriter.
“My main focus is the Gospel,” he said, “as long as my life can in some way reflect all that Jesus has done for me and where He’s brought me from and the amazing ways He’s changed my life, as long as His sacrifice comes first. At the end of the day, I don’t matter.”
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Source: Baptist Press