Pastor follows God on his journey to Destin
The search committee and First Baptist Church of Destin voted unanimously for their new pastor, and, on Dec. 24, Pastor Steve Farris will become lead pastor.
“I’m looking forward to serving and meeting the folks of Destin, and I would like to extend a special invitation to you to join us on the 24th for a Community Christmas Eve service at 5 p.m.,” Farris told The Log. “We will begin a new chapter in our lives, the church’s and community of Destin.”
With more than 25 years of pastor experience, Farris and his wife, Pam, have served as pastor and youth minister at First Baptist Church Cookeville for the last 13 years. It was during this time he began to sense that the Lord was going to move the couple. Farris said God led him to John 10:16 which says “I have other sheep which are not of this fold.”
The couple had no idea where or when they would move, and didn’t even send out resumes. But, as God does so often, he opened the door for them to come to Destin and fill in after the interim pastor left.
Meeting with leaders after church, Farris shared with them that he would be willing to come help for however long it took for them to begin moving forward.
“They asked me to pray about coming as pastor,” he said. “We agreed to pray for two weeks and have a conference call in two weeks. Sitting on our porch of the house we had built with our own hands I said to the Lord, ‘If you want me to go, to leave here I will, but please make it clear.’ He led me to Luke 9:2 which says, ‘And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.’"
Born in church, saved and baptized around 12, Farris drifted away, like so many others do.
“I became a Prodigal Son,” Farris said. “After several years the Lord drew us back to church. When God brought me back, I came with zeal to serve him as Lord.”
Farris began an incredible journey at that time that continues to this day. The couple began studying the word, started an evangelistic puppet ministry, served as president of the Christian Business Men’s Fellowship, served on the board of the Rescue Mission and Fellowship of Christian Athletes and went on his first overseas trip.
A couple of years later, God spoke to Farris through a very clear vision — “Preach the Gospel to the nations, and feed my sheep.”
Farris became acquainted with Destin when he was able to meet Billy Gray, pastor of The Gathering at Sandestin. The two have a friendship that has led them to work together in many places, watching the Lord work in incredible ways.
“It was Brother Billy who first introduced me to the wonderful folks at Destin First Baptist,” Farris said. “That began a relationship that has continued over the many years and has now led to the opportunity to serve in this community and as their pastor. Pam and I are excited about what the Lord will do here and also know that we come in fear and trembling knowing what a great responsibility we have. I also know that without him we can accomplish nothing. It is the Lord who builds the house and without him we will labor in vain.”
“A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9)
Farris has made his journey to Destin by following God’s words and callings, taking one step after another to reach this destination.
“From our first encounter with Destin First Baptist Church over 15 years ago, we have had a love and a burden desiring for the church to be healthy and flourish,” Farris said. “God prepares us for our mission, for the work he has for us, without us even knowing it.”