Gloria Dei Lutheran Church
- Contact: 1087 W. Country Club Lane, Escondido 760-743-2478 www.gdlutheran.org
- Membership: 150
- Pastor: Jeffrey Horn
- Age: 50
- Born: San Fernando Valley
- Formation: Pepperdine University, Malibu; Christ College (Concordia University), Irvine; Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, IN.
- Years Ordained: 24
San Diego Reader: How long do you spend on your sermons?
Pastor Jeffrey Horn: I work on my sermon all week. When I’m done with one, I’m starting the other. I like to say the sermon is never done until you say, “Amen.”
SDR: Why did you become a minister?
PH: When I was a kid, seven or eight years old, I heard the reading from I Timothy 2 about the qualifications for being a pastor. Honestly, at that age I sat there and heard that reading and said, “That’s me.” It wasn’t bragging or boasting, but a resonance with what the text was saying. I knew from childhood, growing up, that was something I could do.
SDR: What is the mission of your church?
PH: We gather to hear God’s word. There’s a little flock of Christ Jesus here at Gloria Dei, who hear the word of Christ, follow his voice and receive his gifts. Part of our mission is to provide a place where the word of Christ is proclaimed, his gifts—word and sacrament—are given, and people can come and receive them.
SDR: Where is the strangest place you found God?
PH: When I was in seminary, I spent three months in southern India. There was a part of the city that was desperately poor, and one of the local Indian pastors took me with him on his rounds to visit his flock. There was a home we went into, climbing rickety stairs and walking along long corridors until we came to a tiny room. In that room was a little old woman with a broken hip. She was lying on an old army cot with a blanket over her. They had tried to take her to the hospital when she had fallen, and she had spent a week lying on the hospital floor. But it was so crowded, they did nothing for her because they were too busy to get to her. Finally they brought her home, broken hip and all. She lay there without any hope of being cured. She was with her family, who were doing their best to care for her until she passed away. Yet, despite the differences in language, economic levels and health—we had something in common. We had Christ.
SDR: Where do you go when you die?
PH: When we die, our bodies are buried, but our souls are with Christ and we’re with him immediately and enjoy his presence. On the last day, Christ will return, and when he does, there will be a resurrection of all who had lived. At that point, those who have been believers in Christ will rise, and we’ll be with him in heaven, body and soul, human beings forever with him in glory. We also believe in a judgment, because the only way to get rid of sin is to trust in Christ. So we hope and pray as many people as possible hear him, and in the end we leave that up to him to be the judge. So if someone does wind up being damned, it’s not because that was God’s desire, but because they would not have him through faith in Christ. God’s heart is to save, and he did that through his son, Jesus Christ.