|Phillip Hefner, Associate Pastor|
I was born in the mountains of
which is still the place I escape to when I need to run and hide. Growing up I was highly influenced by such people of faith as Billy Graham (I almost lived in the shadow of the mountain where he lived), Corrie Ten Boom, and Brother Andrew along with a bunch of people who were able to demonstrate what a life of faith looked like. During my younger years, I was into SCUBA diving, soloed my first airplane a few days before I got my drivers license, swim team, and just getting lost in the mountains (I also dabble in photography.) These early years laid a foundation that God has built upon as I have grown and gotten wiser. North Carolina
Looking back my first call to ministry came in about the 7th grade. After reading the book “God’s Smuggler” by Brother Andrew, I really felt called to serve God in some way but didn’t yet have a clear idea of just what shape it was to take. Later, the summer before my junior year in high school I went to
Europe with a high school group and, much to the horror of my history teacher chaperon, I smuggled 3 Bibles into
. Other than about getting mowed down by machine guns and arrested by the police, it was a great experience… just ask if you are interested in the details. Unfortunately, I not only ignored that call to ministry, but I ran from it with all the enthusiasm of Jesse Owens. Czechoslovakia
My years in the Air Force were formative years for me… years that God used to help prepare me for ministry. He used several events to get my attention again and to bring me back to Him. First was the birth of my daughter… it was through the experience of holding this newborn baby that I truly understood the love of a father. It was then that I truly realized just how much God loved me. He loved me enough to give up His son for me. (Sometime just sit and think about what that truly means...)
It was at that point that God began to slowly chip away from the wall I had built between us. Several influential pastors later and one national emergency (Yes… the rumor is true… I was with President Bush on 9/11) and I finally yielded and went into fulltime ministry. From there it has been a wonderful journey as I grow in this crazy life of faith and complete surrender to Christ and His guidance.
There might be some who are wondering so this is for you!!! Favorites: Billy Graham, blue, pineapple upside down cake,
REAL bar-b-que (the kind made from PORK), hiking in the mountains, photography, Contemporary Christian and Country/Western, Forrest Gump, It's a Wonderful Life (isn't it everyone's), spending time with my family, left-handed, Mary Ann, and dogs. If I left anything out just ask.