Yesterday was Father’s Day, so I’d like to take a break from discussing tedious financial topics in order to honor my spiritual father, Pastor Steve Fitzpatrick.
Pastor Steve has played an integral role in my development as both a person and a Christian. I’ve known him for as long as I can remember, and I find it fascinating to see how his influence in my life has shaped the way I view and approach the world.
Teacher And Scholar
He is a Bible scholar and teacher. Sunday sermons growing up didn’t involve emotional tirades, they involved thorough exegesis of Greek words, like dunamis and exousia.
From Pastor Steve, I learned to study deeply and find out what the Bible really says. I don’t just take any leader’s word as truth, I turn to the Word for validation. As you can tell from this blog, emotion and fluff just don’t cut it with me, I’ve been taught better.
His passion for studying the Word slowly seeped into those around him, which lead me to attend Bible college. He is still doing the same thing today, traveling around the world and taking deep Biblical teaching to those who cannot access it any other way.
Missionary And Mentor
Like most teenagers who grow up in San Diego, I spent many Friday nights in Tijuana. However, unlike most, I wasn’t drinking and dancing the night away (Mexico’s drinking age is only 18).
I was in little churches, in the poorest parts of town, worshiping to the accompaniment of an accordion alongside a people hungry for a deeper knowledge of God. That knowledge poured forth from a gringo with a booming voice that towered above the congregation, Pastor Steve.
How many great leaders are willing to let teenage girls tag along with them when they have nothing to contribute? How many people would be willing to take on the risk of crossing international borders with a minor that wasn’t their own? No, he wasn’t crazy, he was just willing to invest in the next generation no matter the cost or inconvenience.
I think I would be an entirely different person today if Pastor Steve hadn’t opened the door to Mexico to me and showed me that we’re all truly one body in Christ, no matter where we live or what language we speak. Maybe it’s his fault that after moving to Oregon I felt more at home with the Hispanic immigrants than the native Pacific Northwesterners.
Humble Man Of Integrity
Pastor Steve Fitzpatrick has never sought the spotlight. Though he is well deserving of it, he prefers to serve where there is no glory, riches, or recognition.
With his knowledge and experience, he would be in high demand at any Bible college or Christian conference. But what does he spend his time doing? Going to the hidden corners of the earth to equip local leaders.
You won’t read articles about him online (except maybe this one) or see him on a stage. He’s most likely sitting in a boat, zipping through the swamps of Bluefields, Nicaragua, swatting mosquitos and dripping with sweat. Because there are pastors there who won’t learn to study and teach the Word of God any other way.
Would I be spending my time writing this blog, trying to help others, if it weren’t for Pastor Steve’s influence in my life? I don’t know. I can get paid well for writing like this. Maybe I’d be using my time to earn money, pay off my mortgage, and get rich.
There’s no way to know. But I’m glad I am where I am, doing what I am. I’m glad for the person that I’ve become and I’m forever grateful to Steve Fitzpatrick for being a part of that.
Thanks, Pastor Steve!
To learn more about what Pastor Steve does and how you can be a part of what God is doing among the village pastors that he works with, visit heraldoffaith.org.