The congregation at High Point Baptist Church, 12025 Highway 36, welcomed its new pastor the Rev. Justin Hiens in October.
For the past four years, Hiens served as a student pastor to a 100 plus ministry in Union City, Tenn.
"God led us out of student ministry with that experience in hand to use to minister to families from the pastorate position," said Hiens.
As a teenager, Hiens said he mocked Christianity and wanted nothing to do with it. At 16, he accepted Christ at a youth Bible study.
"It was the fellowship, warmth and love of other teenagers that kept drawing me back and allowed me sit under God honored teaching," he added.
Hiens acknowledged the call to preach when he was a senior in high school.
"I attended Camp Centrifuge in North Carolina and that is where God called me to the ministry," he said.
Born in Lexington, Ky., the pastor moved to Jackson, Tenn., in 1999 and graduated from Union University with a degree in student ministries and a minor in family studies.
The pastor and his wife Cherry met at college. Cherry majored in Christian studies and minored in physical education.
"I was adopted by a minister at age 4 and grew up in a Christian home in Greenville, Miss.," she said. "I had head knowledge, but not heart knowledge. Two weeks before I went to Union University, I got saved."
The couple is expecting their first baby in June.
Cherry's talents include singing and piano and she has a passion to teach women what it means to be a godly wife and mother.
"Cherry's support in our ministry is priceless," said her husband.
Hiens has a desire to see High Point Baptist become a global-minded church.
"I believe we will be a church that thinks way beyond the walls of this building, that embraces a community, a nation, and a world with the gospel," he said.
Looking forward, Hiens said he believes that the church will fill its facility and begin to send out and start new churches in the community.
"We plan to meet the needs by day to day relationships - by intentional evangelism, a matter of realizing that every meeting with someone is a mission opportunity," he said.
The pastor explained that the plan involves learning how to build relationships with the people in your neighborhood or at work, inviting them to church and sharing the difference that Christ has made.
Hiens said that his desire, first and foremost, is to bring glory to the Lord through biblical worship.
"In 2008, our focus will be on prayer and many of the services and special events will be tied into a prayer theme," he said. "The truth is, the only thing that will give a church power is prayer."
In January, the church will move into 40 days of fasting and prayer.
"I am asking people to take one day a week and dedicate it to prayer," said the pastor. "I am asking men to pray like never before as the spiritual leaders of the church."
Hiens' advice to families is to keep Christ at the center.
"It's important to be a family of prayer and for parents to know that ultimately they have the greatest responsibility to teach their children what it means to live for Christ," he said.
High Point Baptist Church offers Sunday school at 9:45 a.m., followed by worship at 11 a.m. and an evening service on Sunday and Wednesday. The community is invited to attend the children's musical on Dec. 9, the adult Christmas musical on Dec. 16 and the candlelight service on Christmas Eve.
For more information on upcoming events, call High Point Baptist church at (770) 786-5985.