Wednesday, December 13, 2006

OUR STORY

Higher Calling was founded on October 1, 2000. Our founding pastor was Don Pittman, my dad. This is his story of how the church came about.

"We all have a history; a story of how we arrived at where we are now, and Higher Calling Community Church is no exception to this rule. My name is Don Pittman, and I am confident that God has called me to start and pastor this church but my vision has not always been so clear.

I had served in ministry for practically my entire adult life but had gotten to the point of losing my excitement and passion. I had not lost my faith or even my desire to be in ministry but I had lost my perspective. For almost two years, I struggled to stay involved in ministry while working two additional jobs. Working 80-85 hours a week was commonplace but the depression and fatigue that resulted only blurred my perspective even more. My wife, Mindy, and I were determined to start fresh and follow God's leading in ministry by moving to a fast growing suburban area north of Atlanta and starting a church there. Surely, God would bless us as we pursued this plan for Him. I was so wrong!

Instead, I was let go from my ministry position and told that my family and I were on our own when it came to moving away and starting this new church. Within our denomination that we had grown up in, we could find no support, help, or encouragement for our plan to start the church. We were unable to sell our home so we could not finalize our plans to move. Financial pressures were mounting so I felt that I could not reduce the hours of my work schedule. The levels of fatigue, frustration, and stress were growing to unbearable levels and then my health began to deteriorate. I was continually tired and experience a nagging pain and soreness in my chest accompanied by uncontrollable, almost violent bouts of chilling. Tests revealed a softball-sized tumor in my abdomen. On April 21, 1999, the mass was removed but the diagnosis was grim. At 38 years of age, I was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, a treatable but incurable blood cancer that would surely shorten my life. Where was God in all this? Amazingly, He was in it all, overseeing it all, and orchestrating it all in order to accomplish His purposes in my life. Through my treatment and healing of this cancer, God led me on a journey of discovery and renewal that has reignited my passion for living and refocused my heart in believing God for more. Our story is this: God loves us too much to leave us alone. He wants to be a real Father to us and give us all that we need to live powerful, purposeful, and passionate lives. But the most incredible aspect of our story is that God wants you to be His very own. This church was born out of God's desire to do something new in the heart of a person just like you - a person with his own set of struggles, desires, and dreams. The entire reason for the existence of Higher Calling Community Church is to help people experience God's higher calling for their lives. I personally want to invite you to join us in discovering or maybe rediscovering God's greater purpose and higher calling for your life."

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