Faith Alive: Rev. Brad Parker, pastor, Hunter Road Baptist Church, Cataula, Ga.

January 9, 2010 

How long have you been the pastor of Hunter Road? Five years. Before that, I was in Kansas City at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. I left here in the fall of ’01.

How did you know you were called to be a minister? It was during my freshman year at Auburn. I was good at math and science and everyone thought I’d be an engineer. But I had gotten involved with the Baptist campus ministry and toward the end of my freshman year I questioned whether God could be leading in that direction. In the summer of ’96 I worked at a summer camp, and for the next four summers I worked with the youth at Mountain Hill Baptist in Fortson.

How old is your church? It was started in ’95. Daryl Price was the church planter for seven years. He went to work for the Georgia Baptist Convention and now he’s in South Carolina.

Where were you born and raised? In Talbot County. I grew up in Box Springs and at Geneva Baptist Church.

Who’s in your own family? My wife is Amy. We have four kids: Olivia, 8; Sara Beth, 6; Nathan, 3; and Grant, 2. When our son Nathan was about 1 year old, he was diagnosed with tuberous sclerosis which causes seizures. That’s been a big faith journey for us. His seizures have been controlled since Nov. 17 of last year. The medicine was not supposed to stop his seizures. He has delayed speech and motor skills. … He was in the church nursery and one of the workers noticed a twitch. He had an EEG, then an MRI in Atlanta.

Back to the part about your faith, how did this affect it? At first we were told the seizures would be difficult to control and would probably get worse, sooner rather than later. The drive home was numbing and difficult. It was a Wednesday and I had to go to church that night to lead a Bible study. We shared what we found out. The church has been very supportive ever since. With modern technology, we let people know about it and so many people were praying for us and Grant. There was a Methodist Sunday school class in Atlanta that sent money to help with expenses and we also got encouraging cards. It’s interesting how God provided for us through ways we couldn’t imagine. It can’t help but build your faith.

What are you reading? Now that only one of our kids is still in diapers, sometimes I can actually make progress with a book. I’m reading “The Simple Life” by Thom Rainer and Art Rainer. I need all the help with simplicity I can get.

What’s the most pressing need you see around you? As a person of faith and a minister, there is only one answer. I see man’s attempts to solve all his problems but he still comes up short. The need for a relationship with our creator will transform individuals and societies.

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