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Pastor Becomes Mississippi College Law Student

First-year MC Law student Sean Turnipseed of Columbus
First-year MC Law student Sean Turnipseed of Columbus

Teaching at Heritage Academy in Columbus and later working as a pastor, Sean Turnipseed felt the calling of a new profession.

While overseeing The Assembly Starkville church revitalization, the Mississippian discovered the legal profession would fulfill a childhood dream.

“I began to study different areas of tax law, regulations and policies that apply to nonprofits,” Turnipseed said. “I’ve always enjoyed problem solving and over analyzing everything. Suddenly I began to see interests, passions and gifts collide.”

After praying for a year with his wife Morgan, an MC graduate, the Mississippi couple changed course.

A 2013 Mississippi State University secondary education graduate, Sean was accepted at the Mississippi College Law School.

So far, the 29-year-old Columbus native is making a nice adjustment to the rigors of law school. To get ready for August classes, Sean took Civil Procedure II this summer taught by professor Deborah Challener.

“It is easy to see early on that our MC Law professors truly care about our education, preparing us professionally, and ensuring our success along the way.”

For many people worldwide, lives changed dramatically due to the COVID-19 health emergency. New protocols, from mask wearing to social distancing, and hand washing stations are among the visible changes for students.

“The decision to come to MC Law in the midst of a pandemic was difficult at times,” Sean Turnipseed said. He left a stable job to invest in three years of law school “while the world is reeling from this terrible disease.”

During his first couple of weeks, he’s pleased how MC Law leaders handled the challenges on campus.

“I believe my professors and colleagues have done a great job adjusting and maintaining a positive mindset as best we can considering the circumstances.”

Asked about career goals, Turnipseed plans to use his law degree to help churches navigate any problems coming their way.

This summer, he and his wife, Morgan, a former standout for Lady Choctaws track teams, adore their home in Brandon. She’s a second grade teacher at Highland Bluff Elementary School in Flowood. The couple enjoys quality time with their dog, a Golden Retriever/Boykin Spaniel mix. They’re excited to welcome their first baby, a daughter, in December.

When not engaged in studying, Sean Turnipseed likes biking, reading, music and handyman work. He plays the drums, bass and acoustic guitar to relax at their home near the Ross Barnett Reservoir.

Sean continues serving at The Assembly Columbus and The Assembly Starkville by providing online discipleship. He first joined the church staff as the small groups pastor after earning a master’s in theology at Liberty University in Virginia.

While serving the church tugged on his heart for years, MC Law opened new doors.

When MC Law Dean Patricia Bennett spoke at a February preview day event, Sean was sure he made the right choice. Bennett, he said, “proudly revealed the Christian environment and a staff that lives out those values.”

His wife, Morgan, convinced him as well. She refers to Mississippi College as a “family,” he said. “Since being here, I can see it to be true.”

MC Law Professor Phillip McIntosh sees numerous opportunities ahead for students like Sean Turnipseed in the capital city. “The location downtown gives students access to the local and state courts, the Legislature and legal offices in various state agencies,” he said. It’s an excellent way, the professor said, to network and gain experience with the biggest legal community in Mississippi.