About Pastor Isaac
I grew up in a Christian home and my parents made sure that I, along with my brother and two sisters, went to church every Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night. Some of my best memories growing up happened at my church and at other churches in town. Our neighbors were all Christians, and they went to different Churches. When it was time for Vacation Bible School, every year we would take our neighbors to our church, and they would take us to theirs. I really enjoyed those times of fun and games, but it was also a time that God used to shape me. Vacation Bible School was where I received a hunger and a desire to know God more. At the age of five I received Jesus as my Lord and Savior at Vacation Bible School.
My parents had a rule stating that my siblings and I could not attend church camp until we were twelve years old. I turned twelve in May of 1994 and went to church camp in June of the same year. This week blew me away and I began to know God in a way that I never had known Him before. God was at work in my life during this week and God was teaching me so much about Himself and what He wanted me to do with my life. It was during this week that the Lord called me to be a pastor. I do not remember who the speaker was or even what he was speaking about, but while he was preaching God told me in a still small voice that I am supposed to be a pastor. The speaker gave an alter call, but it was not for full time ministry, it was for something else. I decided to go down to the alter in response to what God was telling me to do. I remember praying, “Lord, I heard what you have told me, and I am here saying yes. Use me in whatever way you want. Here is my life for your service."
This calling that the Lord put on my life has been affirmed throughout my lifetime in the local church body. The main way the Lord confirmed this calling on my life came from how the Lord allowed me to be president of the youth group at my church for three years. During my sophomore year of high school, my church decided to hire another pastor as the associate pastor who would focus on the youth program. Pastor Tom Hunsberger was hired and one of the first things he did was to get youth officers that would plan all the events. The youth nominated me to be their president not just once but for the next two years as well. During this time as youth president the Lord allowed me to preach different times at my own church along with organize and lead different retreats that the youth would do throughout the years. Through these experiences the Lord confirmed that He was calling me to be a pastor, but His confirmation did not stop there.
During my senior year in high school, I did an internship with my senior pastor, Pastor Bob Daniels. For an hour and a half every day, I would go spend time with my pastor. We did different things throughout the year. We went on hospital visitations, visited people in the nursing home, went door to door witnessing, and listened to sermons. I was able to help him organize different events in the church, and he helped me on my preaching. The Lord used this internship to confirm even more that He had definitely called me to be a pastor.
I then went to college and the Lord gave me many opportunities to learn more about Him and to serve Him. The classes that I took were helpful in helping me understand more about the Bible and who God is, but it was the student ministries that the Lord used to prepare me to be a pastor. The two ministries that I was involved in were a prison ministry and an evangelistic street ministry. God showed me how to love the unlovable and to help explain the Gospel of Jesus to people that were skeptics. Visiting a maximum-security prison and talking with the inmates can be a challenging task but God taught me how to view the inmates through His eyes, sinners in need of a Savior. The other ministry was a street ministry, where I shared the Gospel to the homeless and shop owners in Atlanta. Through this ministry God really challenged me again by showing me that the greatest need a person has is to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Many people were trying to fill the void in their life through drugs or money or something else. God gave me many opportunities to share with people how only coming to Jesus and living their lives for Him will only satisfy the desires of their heart.
After college I went to seminary to receive further training in studying the Bible. God really showed me through being a youth director at a church that was more moderate in their theology the importance of standing upon the Bible. The youth and even the adults were not going to accept something just because I taught it during a sermon, or a Sunday school class. But the authority of the Gospel and the Bible is founded upon the character of God. If we have a right view of God is then we will have a correct view of who we are and what God has done for us through His Son Jesus.
Through the years, as I have served with American Missionary Fellowship (now called InFaith), an Assistant Pastor at Lighthouse Community Church, Senior Pastor at the Coalport CMA Church and now as Senior Pastor at the Bedford Alliance Church, I have come to the realization that one of the main jobs of a pastor is to help people become grounded upon the Word of God. God has shown me time and time again that if I really want to stand strong in this world, I need to be like the wise man who built his house upon the rock. Jesus said that this wise man is a person who obeys my teachings. I need to obey God’s word and to teach others how to follow God’s word as well.
I believe that one of the primary tasks of a pastor is to help people build their lives upon the foundation of God’s Word. In order for this to happen, we first need to understand God’s Word and then we can apply it to our lives. This conviction of mine influences my preaching style as well. I choose to preach expository sermons. I will often do sermon series where I will preach through books of the Bible. Over the past several years, I preached through 1 and 2 Thessalonians, the Gospel of John, Genesis 1-11, Psalm 119, 1 John, Malachi, Revelation, Habakkuk, and Galatians.
There are times when I will also do topical series. But even when I do these series, I still preach expository sermons, where we dig into one passage of Scripture at a time. Some topical series that I have done are: “Who is God?” (In this series we looked at the names of God in the Old Testament) “The Armor of God,” “The Life of Abraham,” “Assurance of Salvation,” and a series based on Hebrews 11. I believe that God’s Word is alive and active and is just as relevant today. God uses His Word to transform people’s lives. I have seen this first hand over the past twenty years as I taught God’s Word.
From the age of five, all I wanted to do was serve God with my life. At the age of twelve, the Lord showed me what this meant and He called me to be a pastor. The Lord confirmed this calling and continued to prepare me educationally and spiritually for the calling He has placed on my life.
Reason for the Blog
When I was attending Toccoa Falls College, I had a preaching professor tell me that as I studied the Bible in preparation for my sermons, there would be things that I would have to leave in the study. This blog is designed for me to share some of those items with you.