Jeremy Guthrie, a Southern Oregon native, graduate of Ashland High School and former major league pitcher, will preside over Texas Houston South Mission in Sugar Land, Texas, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) has announced.

Mission presidents, like the young missionaries they lead, volunteer their time to oversee the missions. Guthrie will serve as the leader of the mission for the next three years, overseeing approximately 250 young missionaries.

Guthrie grew up in Ashland, where he obtained the rank of Eagle Scout and graduated valedictorian from Ashland High School. After high school he attended Brigham Young University and served an LDS mission in Bilboa, Spain, from 1998-2000. After his mission Guthrie transferred to Stanford University and from there was drafted into Major League Baseball.

He played with the Cleveland Indians from 2004-06, with the Baltimore Orioles from 2007-11, with the Colorado Rockies in 2012, with the Kansas City Royals from 2012-15, and with the Washington Nationals in 2017.

Guthrie went back to Stanford to complete his sociology degree in 2016. He played a major role in the $1.56 million reconstruction of AHS' Walter A. Phillips Field, completed in 2016, kicking off the fundraising campaign with a $650,000 donation.

"We're excited to go to Houston," Guthrie said in a prepared statement. "This is the next three years of our lives. ... I am living proof that the Lord likes to work with the simple and weak sometimes. But hopefully I can be someone who learns well and, more importantly, is able to find his direction through the Spirit in all the many tasks that will be placed before me as a mission president."

Guthrie will be back in Southern Oregon speaking to youth at 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 24, at the LDS church building at 2305 Taylor Road in Central Point. He will also address the church’s local women’s organization, the Relief Society,  from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the church. Visitors are welcome at either presentation.