“Being a pastor is an honor, it’s a privilege to be called of God to be a pastor. The calling of a pastor is not a man-made calling, it is truly a spiritual calling. When I felt God leading me to start a church, I was in my home, and that was between God and me, and when I shared that stirring inside of me with my wife she had to pray about it for a long time, and she was against it for a while. She was where a lot of people are today in this world; she was burned with church, she was tired of dealing with church because it wasn’t real to her. It was just about going through the motions.
“One day she came home from work and she said, ‘I’ve been praying about this and God’s given me true peace today, this is what we are supposed to do,’ and from that day on we began to move forward. We had the first meeting in my home in November 2010, and that consisted of only 17 people.
“The most rewarding thing is seeing the change, seeing the transformations, seeing the decisions that people make to follow Christ and have a relationship with God — but more, seeing people come out of their storms, seeing people come out of their struggles, seeing people come out of their addictions because of what we do as a church, and coming alongside them and just loving them, not pointing a finger at them, not judging them, but helping them in their battles, helping them in their storms, and carrying it with them, and not letting them carry it alone.
Text and photographs by Ralph Burns