- Associated Press - Saturday, February 11, 2017

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Kyle Pernell is already ordained as a Baptist pastor at age 17, and he has put his skills to work at the Mississippi Capitol.

Pernell gave the opening prayer one day last week in the state House, where he spent the week running errands as a page.

He is a junior at Indianola’s Gentry High School and is student government vice president.

He says he has been preaching since he was 10 years old. In October, he was ordained through the Sunflower County Ministerial Alliance.

Pernell works as youth pastor at his home church in Moorhead and is a traveling evangelist at several other churches the Mississippi Delta.

Democratic Rep. Sara Thomas of Indianola says Pernell is an honest, responsible young man who is a role model for his peers.

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