Call of God

Sunday, August 14, 2011
Zackery Strong is the pastor at Christ Church of the Heartland in Cape Girardeau. (Kristin Eberts)

Pastor Zack Strong started his ministry at Christ Church of the Heartland, 720 Bertling St. in Cape Girardeau, 14 years ago. During that time, the Paducah, Ky., said his greatest achievement has been making an impact on the lives of his church members by sharing the word of God.

Q: Why did you choose to pastor in this area? My wife and I felt we were called by God and by the people of the church to pastor here 14 years ago.

Q: Why did you decide to go into the ministry? To me, the ministry isn't an occupation, but a call of God. My wife and I grew up from childhood in the same Pentecostal Church together. Our families were very active in the church. Around the age of 9, I felt deep within my heart that the Lord had called me to preach the gospel. I actively served in the church from a very young age by ushering, teaching classes, leading the youth group and serving as Sunday school superintendent. I finally embraced the call at the age of 21, and almost immediately started Pastoring at the Pentecostal Tabernacle of Hope in Paducah. Eventually, my wife and I changed the church's name to Higher Dimensions, and served there for more than 14 years.

Q: What is the most rewarding part of your job? The most rewarding part of my job is seeing lives changed. That is what the ministry is all about. To proclaim and see the lives of men, women, boys and girls come to the saving power of Jesus Christ. To see them come to the abundant life that Jesus came and died for on the cross. He literally took our sins, sickness and weakness so we could live fully and freely. We have seen so many wonderful things in our services and the word of God is preached. His presence fills the room and his power transforms individuals and families. God is so awesome. Its great to see the addicted set free, the sick healed and marriages restored. Only Jesus can really make the difference.

Q: What has been your greatest achievement since entering the ministry? My greatest achievement is to see Jesus glorified and magnified in all that we do. To know that we are playing a part in God's plan by bringing lives to him and seeing them changed.

Q: What is the biggest challenge you face in your job? My greatest challenge is finding ways to keep reaching people and getting the message of Jesus across to a lost and dying world. There is no question in my mind that Jesus is soon to come and a harvest is waiting. We must reach them and let them know Jesus loves them, died for them and wants them to spend eternity with him.

Q: How are you a witness to Christ outside of church? Outside of the church I pastor. I am also a part of the TCT Christian television network. We host programs and are involved in one of their leading programs, "Ask the Pastor," that is viewed world wide. We love traveling to nations to hold special meetings, do conferences and conduct leadership training. Also by serving the Heartland region by ministering and helping in the churches of the area.

Q: What to you hope people take away from a visit to your church? My greatest desire is that you encounter the presence and the power of God. That can change, fix and help whatever is wrong in your life. We want visitors to feel his love through a warm and compassionate body of believers. The church is not about perfect people. It's about people who need a perfect savior. I do hope you will come and experience it for yourself.

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