For the last two years, Jeremiah Hinton has served as our pastoral resident—an educational position preparing him for full-time ministry.
When we met Jeremiah, he was preparing for chaplaincy in the U.S. Navy. He had recently completed his Masters of Divinity, but discovered that the Navy requires chaplains to have 2 years of full-time pastoral experience following their degree in order to be considered for the program. To pursue his calling, Jeremiah needed to work somewhere full-time for two years, and he wanted to serve those two years at Believers Fellowship.
Unfortunately, we were not in a position to hire someone at the time. It just wasn’t in the budget. However, we told Jeremiah that we would try to create a residency program for him. He would start extremely part-time and work himself up to a lot more hours and responsibility, with a small bump in pay. He would have to consider the residency an educational opportunity because the financial compensation was not going to equal what he put into it.
A Gift to Believers Fellowship
Well, we knew shortly into Jeremiah’s time here that we were going to be blessed more than he was. It was clear the first time he spoke that God has gifted him in teaching. Jeremiah has a unique ability to draw you into the biblical narrative to better understand God and his ways. He reminds you that you are loved and challenges you to live more like Christ. He is passionate about the power of the Bible and the sufficiency of the gospel.
But beyond his Sunday morning teaching gifts, Jeremiah is also a joy to work with during the week. He has never had an office and he has never complained about that. He has done everything we have asked him to with a smile on his face. Jeremiah is well-liked, encouraging, and supportive.
Change of Plans
Unfortunately for Jeremiah, during the last two years, chaplaincy has been taken off of the table for him (not for bad reasons!). But, the Navy’s loss is our gain, because his time at Believers Fellowship has renewed in him a passion for serving in the local church full-time. And, unlike 2 years ago, we are in a position to hire another full-time staff member.
So, starting December 1st, Jeremiah is going to come on staff full-time as our Director of Spiritual Formation. He’s no longer going to be the bonus pastor. Jeremiah is going to continue his focus on teaching on Sunday morning, creating devotionals and other tools and experiences for spiritual formation. We feel very honored to have Jeremiah on staff, and we are excited to see what God will do in his ministry.