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Howard, Paul comment (0)

December 16, 2010

By Kristen Padilla

LaFayette Heights Baptist Church
East Liberty Baptist Association

Favorite Bible Verse: John 3:16
Favorite Hymn: “O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go”
Hobbies: Playing golf and attending Auburn University athletic events
Family Status: Married to Donna for 38 years; two children, Beth and David; and four grandchildren

Paul Howard has been in the ministry for 45 years with more than 20 of those years spent as pastor of LaFayette Heights Baptist Church.
Q: How did you become a Christian?
A: For several Sundays leading up to Easter in 1955, my pastor-dad had been preaching a series of messages about the cross and what Jesus did for us by dying for us. And for several Sundays, I would wait for my dad to leave church so I could walk home with him. I had questions I needed answers to, and my dad very clearly answered my questions and explained to me what I had to do to be saved. On Palm Sunday, I knew as Daddy preached, that God was working in my heart, and when the invitation was given, I went forward to receive Christ into my heart.

Q: When and how were you led into the ministry?
A: Early in my life, I told God that I was willing to do whatever He wanted in my life just as long as it was not preaching. ... So I taught a Sunday School class and played the piano for my church, and before long, I was called by Jackson Memorial (Baptist Church, LaFayette) as minister of music and youth. … I finally realized that my feeling (to follow the pastor into the pulpit every Sunday) was a little bit like Jeremiah who said he had a fire burning in his bones and he was weary of holding it back. When I found that verse in Jeremiah 20:9, I took that as confirmation of my call to preach.

Q: What do you love the most about being a pastor?
A: Watching God at work in the lives of people. When I am able to see people growing and look back over the road they have traveled, I feel blessed beyond measure.

Q: What does the ministry demand?
A: 100 percent.

Q: How do family members support you?
A: Donna knows when to give me space, and she knows when to challenge me with a question to bring balance to my perspective. In every instance, her support and her love have always been unconditional and encouraging.

Q: How has Jesus Christ made a difference in your life?
A: He has saved me, gifted me and called me to serve Him. Had I missed that, my life, at best, would have been desperately mundane.

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