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Exit Interview: After 30 years, the Rev. Jerry Cannon departs C.N. Jenkins Presbyterian Church

A 2021 survey by the Barna Group found that 38% of U.S. pastors have thought about quitting full-time ministry. Many cite burnout – the physical, mental and emotional stresses related to managing the demands of their congregations.

The Rev. Jerry Cannon says he doesn’t fall into that category. Yet, after 30 years serving as senior pastor of C.N. Jenkins Presbyterian Church on Statesville Road, he stepped down earlier this month to take an administrative job with the Presbyterian Church, USA, the denomination’s governing body.

Cannon, who grew up in Kannapolis, is now vice president of ministry innovation for the denomination’s Board of Pensions. He and his wife, the Rev. Veronica Cannon, will continue to live in Charlotte.

Early in his tenure at C.N. Jenkins, Cannon determined that his ministry would focus on three pillars – teaching, preaching and visitation.

He also focused his ministry on (1) embracing persons in recovery, (2) assuring that Sunday worship service has multigenerational appeal, and (3) providing worship experiences that affirmed the Black church experience.

Cannon calls it his “secret sauce,” and he grew C.N. Jenkins from a church with fewer than 200 members to one with more than 800 members and three Sunday worship services.

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