Check back over the next few weeks as we get to know the Newsom family better, learn more about Les and hear about the decision making process that led to his nomination from our Pulpit Nominating Committee.
WEEK 4: FRIEND & FAMILY Q&A
q&a – Brian Sorgenfrei, Caroline Newsom & Whitney Reese
Q1: How do you know Les? Where did you meet? How long have you known him?
Brian: Les came walking into my dorm room in August of 1999 to welcome my roommate and I to Ole Miss and invite us to RUF. So I have known Les for almost 20 years. He was my campus minister in college and then my area coordinator. Les has been a steady pastor in my life over the years and has become a very good friend.
Q2: What makes him such a good friend/mentor/confidant/dad?
Caroline: The wisdom he has given to me over the past couple of years in high school and middle school is what makes him such a great father.
Brian: Les is a consistent encouragement in my life. He is loyal and is okay wading into the mess of your life….and he’s pretty fun to be around and always makes you feel wanted and included.
Q3: How has he impacted/influenced your life?
Brian: This is hard to summarize, because Les is by far one of the most influential men in my life. He taught me the gospel and applied it to my life probably more than any other single individual. I can still vividly remember some moments in college sitting in freshman bible study, or in Farley hall on a Wednesday night, and through Les’s teaching seeing my sin AND the grace of Jesus at the same time in a way I had never before seen. That has been a consistent theme and impact Les has had on my life and my family. Both in his actions and words, Les has communicated to me again and again that the Lord is one of tremendous grace. Les’s demeanor, his friendship and his teaching have helped me believe that at the heart of Christianity is Joy.
Les also gave us hope that we could all marry up in the world. I mean…Les married Ginger!
Caroline: Every hardship I have gone through in life, my father has been there. He’s been there to help me when my best friends turn on me and when boys have broken my heart. Even when he is miles away, he will always let me call him. He has always made sure that I know who I am. He has been the father that I wish everyone could have.
Q4: If Les had a tagline, what would it be?
Brian: RUF since 1994. One Trick Pony. We can do this, we’re big pants people.
Caroline: “Be sure that you know who you are”
Q5: Tell us about a memorable or funny memory of you & Les.
Caroline: It’s crazy that I remember this, but when I was two years old my dad and I were driving around in his car and I don’t know what made me do it, but while we were at a stop light I opened the car door and tried to get out – he was so scared for me. The lady in the car behind us yelled at us!
Q6: What sort of conversation topics get Les excited whenever y’all talk?
Brian: Philosophy of Ministry – whatever he is “into” at that moment in his life (good book, movie, photography, tv show), a hilarious story, opportunities for ministry. He also gets very excited when he is talking about Oxford/Ole Miss and why people should love it.
Caroline: He gets very excited when we talk about new music or any good music.
Q7: How do you think Les will thrive in the Lead Pastor role at CPC?
Caroline: I believe that he has always been a wonderful leader to our family, so I am very excited to see how he thrives at being a leader in the church.
Brian: Les will thrive as he has done as campus minister and area coordinator. He will teach the Bible clearly and Christocentrically with application to the heart. I think Les will thrive in casting vision, and motivating Christ Pres with the gospel to love well. I think Les will lead with humility, help us see our blind spots, and lead with repentance so that people will continue to believe that Jesus and His people are a place where it’s ok to not be ok.
Random Questions of the Week:
Can you hula hoop?
Brian: Not well at all, short people have an advantage
What is the weirdest thing you have seen Les eat?
Brian: Les has become quite the foodie actually. He will try just about anything.
How long was the last phone call you & Les had?
Brian: I’m guessing 10 minutes…more of a face to face or texting relationship…
Caroline: A couple of minutes – he was just checking to see how one of my tests had gone