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An 11-year–old Maryland boy was ordained as a minister at his parents’ church.

Ezekiel Stoddard said that he decided to become a minister after hearing from God in a dream. He said God told him to read Psalm 23.

“God gave me that particular scripture because a lot of people, they try to draw you away from the Lord, trying to get you on the wrong path,” Stoddard said.

His parents led the ordination service on May 6 at their Pentecostal church where they are also pastors.

The young minister said that people expect him to act his age.

“I do things like a child, but still I am a minister. I am an evangelical,” Stoddard explained.

Stoddard’s mother, Pastor Adrienne Smith, said her son preaches at the 11 a.m. service with other ministers at the Fullness of Time Church in Capitol Heights, Maryland. She added that he also preaches at area churches.

“He can go to the Bible and pull a text and prepare a sermon. That’s in his heart,” Smith said. “That’s how he feels about the ministry, about Jesus, about the community.”

Smith believes that his age won’t hinder his message.

“He’s had time to study, he knows a lot of scripture, he knows the 10 Commandments, the stories. He does childlike things, but when it comes to the word of God, he studies, he prepares,” Smith explained.

Stoddard believes that there shouldn’t be an age limit for ordained ministry.

“A lot of people think of me being a kid, that my parents are forcing me to minister the gospel,” he said. “But the first time I did a sermon, I was seven or eight,” Stoddard said.

“There’s a seriousness about Minister Ezekiel,” Smith said. “He knows it’s not about him. It’s about ministry. Wherever he goes, they say, ‘That’s the little preacher there.'”

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