First Presbyterian Church of San Diego
- Contact: 320 Date Street, San Diego 619-232-7513 www.fpcsd.org
- Membership: 430
- Pastor: Jerry Andrews
- Age: 67
- Born: Detroit, MI
- Formation: Detroit Bible College (William Tyndale College); Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Chicago; Princeton Theological Seminary; University of Pittsburg; University of Chicago
- Years Ordained: 42
San Diego Reader: What’s your favorite subject on which to preach?
Pastor Jerry Andrews: The bad news is that most preachers only preach one sermon. I think that’s true for me too. You’d have to ask my congregation what sermon I preach over and over again—but it would probably be the beauty of the savior—and his humiliation and exaltation. If my preaching can move people to draw closer to Christ, I think it will have done its work, and the Holy Spirit does his work in continuing our conversion in Christ.
SDR: Why did you become a minister?
PA: There were a number of people who influenced me. My father, who passed away about ten years ago, was an electrician and highly admired in the church. Everybody thought well of him. He was very kind and sweet, and an unassuming, good person. But I knew that he deeply admired our pastors; he looked to them as someone worthy of affection and support and deference. So I think that was part of what inspired me. Two of my mother’s brothers were pastors in the Pentecostal Church, and so ministry was also in the family.
SDR: What is the mission of your church?
PA: We want to get the gospel right in matters of instruction and doctrine. We want to get the gospel deep within, as a matter of formation of the person and church community. We also want to get the gospel out, and that’s a matter of proclamation of the Savior in both word and deed.
SDR: Where is the strangest place you found God?
PH: My life has been easy. I don’t think anyone would look at my life and say, “Gee, how did he survive?” I was happy in the family I was raised in, and knew I was happy at the time, which was an additional blessing. I also raised a good, happy family… So life is good. The line I grew up with was “Don’t doubt in the dark what God has shown you in the light.” So when times are hard, I try not to forget what I have had confidence in and learned to trust when things were more normal. The opposite is true too, though. The things I learned in those times in my life when I was troubled, I’m not to forget when things are easy. I think prosperity in life is as great a temptation to despair the value of the life in Christ as is when we experience trouble in life.
SDR: What one book most influenced your ministry?
PH: Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion shaped me and shaped my doctrinal thinking when I was younger. IT spoke to me and spoke for me. Augustine’s Confessions and The City of God probably linger longest and went deepest in my thinking.
SDR: Where do you when you die?
PH: I think that there is a heaven and a hell. But that’s not how I would ask the question. Rather, I would ask, “To whom do I go?” We return to our creator, who is the judge of the living and the dead, and filled with more mercy than any of us have experienced or imagined. I’ll trust him with what comes next.