The Elder Ezra D. Howard serves as the pastor of Saint Luke Church of God in Christ of Moorhead, MS. He was appointed to the position in Oct. 2014 and continues the mission of “moving to a new level” by “building on a firm foundation” laid by his father, the late Superintendent Frank Howard Sr.
And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the Gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” —Roman 10:15
In 1995, Pastor Ezra Howard first felt the intense, all-absorbing desire to preach the Word of God.
The third of seven siblings, the Clarksdale, MS native was reared in the church. However, it was his experience as a college student at Alcorn State University that plummeted him into a deeper relationship with Christ, igniting what would become a life-long commitment to preaching the Gospel and soul winning.
After graduating as summa cum laude from Alcorn with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Applied Mathematics, Pastor Howard continued to wrestle with accepting the call. For months he prayed for guidance and discernment until, in 1996, the Lord placed it on his heart so strongly he could no longer deny or shake it.
Pastor Howard became a Licensed Minister of the Church of God in Christ in 1997. He received formal theological training from the Northern Mississippi C.H. Mason System of Bible College, where he attended for four years.
He became an Ordained Elder in August 1999.
Pastor Howard is a former YPWW President and Ministerial Staff Chairman of St. Luke COGIC. He diligently served as an Associate Elder of St. Luke until his appointment as Pastor Oct. 20, 2014.
Even before his call to preach, Pastor Howard served as a pillar in the ministry of music for the Church of God in Christ on all levels.
Sing unto him a new song; play skillfully with a loud noise. —Psalm 33:3
Pastor Howard’s exposure to music began when he was just five-years-old, playing the drums at church.
But a true love affair with music formed when he witnessed saxophonist Jimmy Quick performing in Cincinnati, Ohio when he was around the age of 8-years-old.
The late Supt. Howard often shared the story that during an alter call one service, he asked individuals what they wanted God to bless them with. Pastor Howard, then a young boy, responded that he wanted the Lord to bless him to play the saxophone.
That incident sparked Pastor Howard’s development as a talented saxophonist.
He also learned piano from his cousin Fred Walker, making Pastor Howard a well-rounded and talented musician.
Those early influences developed a life-long love of music that has served as a great part of Elder Howard’s ministry.
Pastor Howard has stated that music can usher individuals into the presence of God through worship. Once an individual enters into God’s presence, they can then receive His Word.
Pastor Howard has actively played a strong role in the church’s music ministry.
At the age of 19, he founded the Northern Mississippi Jurisdictional Orchestra, and currently serves as the Executive Director.
Nationally, he has served as the Executive Director of the J.O. Patterson Fine Arts Orchestra since 2009.
Pastor Howard is also Minister of Music for the Moorhead District (District 4) of the Mississippi Northern Jurisdiction of the Church of God in Christ.
He also currently serves as an instructor in the Northern Mississippi Biblical Training Seminars.
According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it —I Corinthians 3:10
Since his appointment as Pastor of St. Luke Church of God in Christ, he has implemented a new church motto: “Moving to a New Level, Building on a Firm Foundation”.
It’s based on St. Luke’s former motto “Church At Work, Moving to a New Level” and was created as a tribute to the legacy left by his father, Supt. Frank Howard, who served as pastor for 38 years. The motto epitomizes St. Luke’s mission to continue advancing in all aspects of ministry, specifically soul-winning.
Pastor Howard has proclaimed 2015 as “The Year of Preparation” for his congregation. During this time, the church is busy preparing to reach new souls through Outreach Ministry.
It’s a part of Pastor Howard’s vision and the church’s long-term goal to train and equip disciples for Christ who witness and spread the Gospel of Jesus to all mankind.
He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young. —Isaiah 40:11
Pastor Howard is the husband of one wife, First Lady Octavian Howard. They have two beautiful daughters—Olivia and Miriam.
God has graciously blessed the St. Luke family with a leader who bares the characteristics of a humble, kind, caring, and loving shepherd.
One of Pastor Howard’s favorite songs to lead the congregation in is “We are Victorious”. With God leading him, and the support of the congregation behind him, we are victorious indeed!