1800 E. 17th, National City
First Christian Church
Pastor: Tim Captain
Born: Logansport, IN
Formation: Cincinnati Christian University, Cincinnati, OH
Years Ordained: 5 years
San Diego Reader: What is your favorite topic on which to preach?
Pastor Tim Captain: Absolutely, that topic is grace. In talking about grace in the topic of Jesus Christ — naturally we’re sinners and deserve death, but we don’t get what we deserve, but instead we receive grace because of what God has done through Jesus. That’s great news for us.
SDR: What is your main concern as a member of the clergy?
PC: I think our main concern — and my personal main concern — is for people. I don’t know anyone who gets into church work and doesn’t at least initially get into it for people. So, around us and especially in our city, even though the weather is sunny and perfect in so many ways, the internal weather systems of families, communities, and neighborhoods, we’re finding out, [are] broken and often lacking hope. So, we want to bring hope…to families and people that are in need.
SDR: Why did you become a minister?
PC: I didn’t want to become a minister in the first place. I thought I would become an engineer in the U.S. Navy — and I was being recruited to do so. It’s kind of ironic, though, because my first pastoral position was in Annapolis, MD, which is a Navy town, and then I got one here in San Diego, which is a Navy town as well. So, really, what it came down to was I was challenged in high school to consider what would happen if I gave my life to helping people. Part of the gift is that something has to be sacrificed.
SDR: Where is the strangest place you found God?
PC: I had an opportunity to lead a group of students from Chicago down to Atlanta, where there is a place called the Million Dollar Mile, not because the houses are expensive but because that’s where most of the crack cocaine of the city is sold and a lot of prostitution is happening….It was amazing to see people you wouldn’t expect to be absolutely opened up to seeing God’s love reach out. We had conversations with prostitutes, drug addicts, and gang lords. They all said no matter where the path of life brings you — it could be to the darkest of days — there’s still a realization that I need something more. God was in each of those moments, with crazy and weird things happening where they were about to die or overdose or felt they had no hope. God just reached in and either led our team or other people to provide that hope.
SDR: Where do you go when you die?
PC: God has reached out to us through His son Jesus Christ and we believe that if we’re found in His son, we desire to have a relationship with God. The afterlife therefore means we have a perfect relationship with God. There will be no more pain or death or any of those things because we’ll be with Him. That’s what we call heaven… a full relationship with God.
The other option is that we don’t want to have anything to do with God, and that is the eternal place where we are separated from God — who is love. If you can imagine a place void of love — we call that place hell.