The All Faith Center
- Contact: 17762 St. Andrews Dr., Poway 858-487-8885 www.allfaithcenter.org
- Membership: 18 faith teams (composed of “thousands” of members from area congregations)
- Pastor: Steve Albert (co-pastor with wife Abigail Albert)
- Age: 72
- Born: Philadelphia
- Formation: Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA; Drexel University, Philadelphia; University of Colorado, Boulder, CO; Emerson Theological Institute, Oakhurst
- Years Ordained: 37
San Diego Reader: What is your favorite subject on which to preach?
Pastor Steve Albert: REBOOT is one of the 17 books I’ve written, and I wrote it a year after having a major stroke in 2003. The stroke took the complete left side of my body and all the muscles in my face were gone. It took me a full year before I was back doing ministry work…. REBOOT tells about how you get your physical body back to a normal state after some major challenge. Most of the things I talk about in my sermons come down to how you get from point A to point B in a healthy manner without spending a lot of time complaining . “God isn’t looking at me anymore!” “I’m gone!” “I’m ready to leave this planet!” Instead, we’re really just rebooting from one point to the next.
SDR: Why did you become a minister?
PA: I had been doing communications consulting work with a number of people—how to understand personalities and not fly off the handle when your mother-in-law tells you she didn’t like what you did, or not tell your boss off when he tells you he wants you to work late. This consultant work just morphed into helping more and more people with life issues, especially when someone is going through a death in the family, or a major change as we talked about before, rebooting in one way or another. While I was doing it, there was this natural realization that I was good with other people. I didn’t want to be a psychologist, and then I became interested in the different faiths and what they were doing. That’s when ministry showed itself.
SDR: What is the mission of your church?
PA: Basically, our mission is to have everyone sit down and have a meal with one another, to ask questions: “What was it like growing up in your neighborhood?” “What was it like being with your family?” “Oh, you had two brothers? I had two brothers.” “Oh, you like this type of television? I enjoy that too.” To help people find out that those who dress differently, speak with a different accent, or wear their faith strongly are very similar to you. All you have to do is be inquisitive enough to find out who they are and what they’re doing.
SDR: Where do you go when you die?
PA: You really never die…When you leave this plane of existence through what we call death, you enter a different form — a soul form, perhaps — that you can’t see…but it’s the same amount of energy that was in your body when you were alive. I would hope all souls would believe the concept of karma — if you didn’t do things right the first time around, you might have to come back and get your hand slapped once or twice, but we know there is an equalizing element in the universe. Just like rebooting through an illness, as much as it hurt when you were getting sick, it feels that much better when you can say you got through it.