A leap of faith for Christ - Pastor leaves comfort to answer special calling
It is a leap of faith for a pastor who has been preaching at one church for 26 years, to suddenly decide to start a new church on his own.
That is what Pastor Steven Hayle of the Church of Pentecost Jamaica has done.
Hayle was pastor at the Alpine Mennonite Church in St Andrew, where he had been given a place to live and a car to drive, all at the church's expense, but he told The Gleaner yesterday that he received a special calling from God to go for glory on his own.
A handful of the members from his former congregation took the journey with him.
"I had no money. It was like an Abraham call. It was like when God called Abraham and told him to leave his family and He showed him a way. The thing is that I left a fully decked out church, with all the amenities, nice building and everything. We had recently received a cyber centre with 36 solar panels. I used to have a house to live in, and I basically used to drive the church vehicle.
"Now, I have to pay rent, I don't have a vehicle to drive, and I don't have a place to worship. That is the transition. It must be something that one feels that God is really calling them into, to make such a move. For 30 years, I've had all of that, to now basically start again from scratch."
In order to set his church apart from others, Hayle said that he wants his congregation to have more than just faith.
PASSION TO HELP PEOPLE
"This is a new journey that God has taken me on that the Mennonite church has prepared me for, and now, this is a new phase that I must go through. The move took effect two weeks ago. I am coming from humble beginnings. I used to be a ward of the state, and so from around seven years old, I was a ward until I was 17. I have a passion for persons who are less fortunate, and so I would like to help people. This is not just a soul-winning thing. It is taking interest in the lives of people. If you are hungry, all of us are going to feel it, so we are going to make sure that you don't go home hungry. We are not going to just preach to you and say that the Lord will provide. Instead, we help you!"
Hayle has had to be worshipping at a two-bedroom rented premises off Padmore Drive in St Andrew, and other locations as well, but hopes that in the near future, he will begin seeing his way forward more clearly.