Behind the pulpit inside the Friendly Community Center, Pastor Ann Mosson spreads the word of God and the gospels every Sunday morning — and a lot more during the week.
“We can’t just minster,” Mosson said. “We have to live it as well. If I tell you what God is saying, then I have to be living proof to you that it’s real.”
For Mosson, that includes not just saying “I love you,” but actually showing it. The Clinton native was recently named as a 2015 Hometown Hero by TCP Magazine and radio station WIDU, in Fayetteville. The faith-based media outlet honored for making a difference in the community, stated that “Outreach is at the cornerstone of their ministry.” It went on to say that Mosson is passionate caregiver for senior citizens and others struggling with sickness.
“When you’re in the ministry, it goes farther than just the pulpit,” Mosson said. “It’s a seven-day thing. It’s not about race, creed or color. It’s about giving a helping hand.”
For many years, Mosson has worked with the radio station. But she was surprised and cried during the moment which took place during a luncheon in Hong Kong City Restaurant in Clinton.
“It was tears and laughter, all at the same,” Mosson said about the event sponsored by station owners, Wes and Sandy Cookman.
It’s not the first award for the pastor also known as “Lil’ Ann,” “Radio Angel” and “Ma Ann” — all names given to her by family and close radio associates.
Mosson grew up in Clinton as the child of the late Hanson Strickland and Annie Pearl Strickland. She was the oldest among her siblings. After graduating from Sampson High School, she pursued training and a career in cosmetology. But she eventually followed in her father’s footsteps of spreading gospel over the local airwaves. Mosson would let the public know about church news and obituaries. Some of the other duties included answering phones and greeting church leaders.
“It was just a great joy to meet people. I love people,” Mosson said. “I’m a people person.”
The ministry is something that fell into place through Trinity United Freewill Holiness Church, where she preaches with her husband Bishop Larry Mosson, New Jersey native. They have been married for more than 30 years and sing in the group Lil’ Ann and The Redeemers.
The building located at 75 Hanson Road was built by her father and is still owned by the family. On Sundays, she enjoys preaching and giving back. Throughout her life, Mosson said she’s been blessed.
“I just got a love of people through my heart through Christ Jesus,” Mosson said about helping others through her ministry, which includes making stops at homes, praying with others and distributing meals at the family’s food bank.
“It’s my job,” she said. “It’s working for the Lord to help those who need it or those who are not too proud to ask for it. You find some who really need it, but they don’t know how to ask for it. But God will give you that discerning spirit where you go to ask if they’re OK.”
Some will say yes and others may not. But regardless of the request, Mosson is ready to help, in any way she can. Mosson said she is not perfect, but alluded to how she strives to be better each day.
“I got to keep doing better today than I did yesterday,” she said. “But my greatest award is when I leave here and go up a little higher. That’s the great award. We receive honors down here, but the greatest one is when we meet our father in heaven.”
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.