Richard Eastcomment (0)
September 29, 2011
By Joseph Rhea
Mount Zion Baptist Church, Ashland
Carey Baptist Association
Favorite Bible Verses: Psalm 47:1; Philippians 4:13
Favorite Hymns: “Amazing Grace” and “Go Tell the World”
Hobbies: Gardening and building
Family Status: Married to Esther for 50 years; two children, Kevin and Tracy; and four grandchildren
Richard East is the pastor of Mount Zion Baptist Church, Ashland. He will celebrate his 25th anniversary with the church this November.
Q: How did you come to know the Lord?
A: One Sunday in July 1956, the Holy Spirit began to convict me; I was just 12 but I felt a burden on me. For two days, my grandmother would read me some Bible verses, and the burden would seem to lift for a while. That Wednesday, the Lord allowed me to see what was going on and why the Bible was having a soothing effect, and that night, I went down and was baptized.
Q: When and how were you led into the ministry?
A: At the age of 18, I felt called but I didn’t surrender. I wasn’t willing and so I stopped going to church because it bothered me too much. At the age of 33, my daughter climbed up in my lap and asked why we couldn’t go to church like everyone else. That cut me deep and we started going again. Pretty soon after that, I surrendered to the call.
Q: What does the ministry demand?
A: It’s demanding on your time; if you don’t discipline yourself, you’ll find that you do not spend time with the Lord and study as you should. I have my times of study and prayer and meditation, but other than that, I’m out around the sheep.
Q: How do family members support you?
A: My wife is very supportive; she’s a prayer warrior. My children support me physically. My grandson is a great inspiration to me. And my granddaughters love spending time with me.
Q: How do you see yourself involved in the ministry in the future?
A: I do not plan to retire; I’ll let the Lord retire me. I’m active in associational work and chaplain of the hospice here.