From doubt to du­ti­ful ser­vice

High Point Bap­tist’s new pas­tor went from re­bel­lious youth to de­voted ser­vant “I

The Covington News - - RELIGION - By Colleen Capes Jack­son

The con­gre­ga­tion at High Point Bap­tist Church, 12025 High­way 36, wel­comed its new pas­tor the Rev. Justin Hiens in Oc­to­ber.

For the past four years, Hiens served as a stu­dent pas­tor to a 100 plus min­istry in Union City, Tenn.

“ God led us out of stu­dent min­istry with that ex­pe­ri­ence in hand to use to min­is­ter to fam­i­lies from the pas­torate po­si­tion,” said Hiens.

As a teenager, Hiens said he mocked Chris­tian­ity and wanted noth­ing to do with it. At 16, he ac­cepted Christ at a youth Bi­ble study.

“ It was the fel­low­ship, warmth and love of other teenagers that kept draw­ing me back and al­lowed me sit un­der God hon­ored teach­ing,” he added.

Hiens ac­knowl­edged the call to preach when he was a se­nior in high school.

“ I at­tended Camp Cen­trifuge in North Carolina and that is where God called me to the min­istry,” he said.

Born in Lex­ing­ton, Ky., the pas­tor moved to Jack­son, Tenn., in 1999 and grad­u­ated from Union Univer­sity with a de­gree in stu­dent min­istries and a mi­nor in fam­ily stud­ies.

The pas­tor and his wife Cherry met at col­lege. Cherry ma­jored in Chris­tian stud­ies and mi­nored in phys­i­cal ed­u­ca­tion.

“ I was adopted by a min­is­ter at age 4 and grew up in a Chris­tian

t was the fel­low­ship, warmth and love of other teenagers that kept draw­ing me back and al­lowed me sit un­der God hon­ored teach­ing.”

home in Greenville, Miss.,” she said. “ I had head knowl­edge, but not heart knowl­edge. Two weeks be­fore I went to Union Univer­sity, I got saved.”

The cou­ple is ex­pect­ing their first baby in June.

Cherry’s tal­ents in­clude singing and pi­ano and she has a pas­sion to teach women what it means to be a godly wife and mother.

“ Cherry’s sup­port in our min­istry is priceless,” said her hus­band.

Hiens has a de­sire to see High Point Bap­tist be­come a glob­al­minded church.

“ I be­lieve we will be a church

The Rev. Justin Hiens

that thinks way be­yond the walls of this build­ing, that em­braces a com­mu­nity, a na­tion, and a world with the gospel,” he said.

Look­ing for­ward, Hiens said he be­lieves that the church will fill its fa­cil­ity and be­gin to send out and start new churches in the com­mu­nity.

“ We plan to meet the needs by day to day re­la­tion­ships — by in­ten­tional evan­ge­lism, a mat­ter of re­al­iz­ing that ev­ery meet­ing with some­one is a mis­sion op­por­tu­nity,” he said.

The pas­tor ex­plained that the

plan in­volves learn­ing how to build re­la­tion­ships with the peo­ple in your neigh­bor­hood or at work, invit­ing them to church and shar­ing the dif­fer­ence that Christ has made.

Hiens said that his de­sire, first and fore­most, is to bring glory to the Lord through bib­li­cal wor­ship.

“ In 2008, our fo­cus will be on prayer and many of the ser­vices and spe­cial events will be tied into a prayer theme,” he said. “ The truth is, the only thing that will give a church power is prayer.”

In Jan­uary, the church will move into 40 days of fast­ing and prayer.

“ I am ask­ing peo­ple to take one day a week and ded­i­cate it to prayer,” said the pas­tor. “ I am ask­ing men to pray like never be­fore as the spir­i­tual lead­ers of the church.”

Hiens’ ad­vice to fam­i­lies is to keep Christ at the cen­ter.

“ It’s im­por­tant to be a fam­ily of prayer and for par­ents to know that ul­ti­mately they have the great- est re­spon­si­bil­ity to teach their chil­dren what it means to live for Christ,” he said.

High Point Bap­tist Church of­fers Sun­day school at 9: 45 a. m., fol­lowed by wor­ship at 11 a. m. and an evening ser­vice on Sun­day and Wed­nes­day. The com­mu­nity is in­vited to at­tend the chil­dren’s mu­si­cal on Dec. 9, the adult Christ­mas mu­si­cal on Dec. 16 and the can­dle­light ser­vice on Christ­mas Eve.

For more in­for­ma­tion on up­com­ing events, call High Point Bap­tist church at ( 770) 786- 5985.

Mandi Singer/The Cov­ing­ton News

Ready to serve:

High Point Bap­tist Church Pas­tor Justin Hiens pauses in the sanc­tu­ary of the lo­cal church where he was named pas­tor just six weeks ago.

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