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Hattiesburg's first African-American LDS bishop called

Randall Silas is the new bishop of a Hattiesburg congregation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."Of all that I have to do, the key responsibilities are to love the

members, and to teach them to love the Lord," Silas said. "My goal is

to get the teachings of the Savior into the lives of the people."LDS

bishops are lay ministers who are not paid for the 20-30 hours they

spend each week ministering to their congregations. The bishop is

assisted by two counselors. Bishops serve for five to 10 years, and are

recommended to the First Presidency of the LDS Church by the local

stake president, the ecclesiastical leader of a geographical area that

comprises 8-10 wards or congregations (3,000-4,000 members)."The

stake president and his two counselors consider individuals within the

ward/congregation and prayerfully consider who has the leadership

skills, but more importantly, who can nurture and guide the members as

they learn and grow in their knowledge of our Savior Jesus Christ,"

said Hattiesburg Stake President Howard Stevens.