A Story of Redemption and Revitalization

By Terry Thompson

Have you ever received a phone call that both surprised you and ended up turning your life upside down? If so, you will relate to my experience. While I was working on a Bible study in my office in Columbus, Ohio, my phone rang. I had not anticipated that this call would be one of those paramount, life-changing moments. I was being asked to pastor Pleasant View Baptist Church in small-town America. And to really stretch my faith, the church was unhealthy and in desperate need of revitalization. At the end of the conversation, I imagine I put the phone down and scratched my head, thinking, “There is no way!”

Are You Sure about This Assignment?

“God, are You sure about this assignment?” my wife, Kelly, and I wanted to know.  Even though Kelly and I had grown up in small communities in Iowa and Michigan respectively, we had spent our first 14 years of ministry in the metropolitan cities of Indianapolis and Columbus. In those first 14 years, I often thought, “Wow! How do pastors do it in small communities and small churches? How do you grow a church in a community with limited industry, entertainment, shopping, and people?”