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Faith Bible Fellowship

9971 Mission Gorge Road, Santee

Membership: 400

Pastor: Gene Beezer

Born: Punxsutawney, ­PA

Formation: Bachelor’s, Houghton College, NY

Ordained: 48 Years

San Diego Reader: Can you think of a time when you gave a sermon which ­flopped?

Pastor Beezer: I can think of a few of them. One of the worst ones happened when I was a young pastor. After I had gone out, it was very silent. Afterwards, one man in the congregation said, ‘That was the best sermon I ever heard you preach,’ but I knew it ­wasn’t.

SDR: What is the most prevalent sin you observe or hear about from your ­congregation?

PB: I ­can’t name one, specifically, but probably thinking ill of others. Our congregation is pretty straight and I ­can’t think of a prevailing sin, but they live a pretty close life…. I stayed longer in ministry than I would have otherwise because I did have such a positive experience with this group of ­people.

SDR: What is the mission of your ­church?

PB: Our mission is to reach people for Christ and grow people in Christ through preaching and pastoral care and involvement of the congregation in the ­church’s ministries. For example, one of those ministries is to Hispanics — we have about 170 Hispanic members of our church and sometimes we have joint services with them, including baptism and communion. ­They’re very much a part of our ­fellowship.

SDR: How do you look at the nature of your ­vocation?

PB: My father wanted me to be an attorney and I look back at my work and ­I’ve seen young people get off drugs and marriages restored. I taught a class a year ago for young people about to get married in our church and couples on the verge of divorce. As a result of that class, ­they’re together today and getting along. They said to me that if they had this when they first got married then they probably ­wouldn’t have the problems they had. I definitely feel I was called by God to do this work. I felt it as a young boy and my parents ­didn’t even go to church, but I had a grandmother who influenced me. My father was an alcoholic and our home was turmoil, but my grandmother had a tremendous influence on me — and she lived to be 103 years of age. She lived her Christianity. When I was 12 years old and reading the Bible and I came across the passage in 2 Timothy (4:2), “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.” When I read it, I said, “He wrote that for ­me.”

SDR: Where do you go when you ­die?

PB: I believe a believer goes to heaven and a non-believer goes to a place of eternal ­punishment.

SDR: What if ­you’re a believer but you ­haven’t been living a good ­life?

PB: We may think we are believers. But the Bible says, “Those who know the name of Christ depart from iniquity” (2 Timothy 2:19). I believe that God brings people back to himself who have wandered from him, but I believe that if someone continues on their own path and never turns back, they are a believer nominally but not experientially. Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice; I know them and they follow me” (John 10:27). That ­doesn’t mean a sheep ­can’t ­wander.

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