EASTGATE FAMILY CHURCH, CROCKETT
By Greg Ritchie
This is a series of reports the Messenger will be doing each Sunday about local pastors in our area. To see the full interview, check out the video at the bottom of this article. The Messenger would like to thank Cutshaw Chevrolet in Grapeland for sponsoring this week’s edition.
Darryl Bennett is a Houston County native who has been preaching at Eastgate Family Church for 10 years.
When did you first feel a calling to be a preacher?
“I believe I was called when I was eight years old. I received the baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost. I felt the call to ministry at that time. I remember I really didn’t understand it. When I got to my teenage years I rebelled. I had a ‘prodigal son’ experience. God has a way of getting our attention. I started doing youth ministry as a Sunday school teacher in my early 20’s. I started evangelizing when I was about 25 years old.”
Is there a certain passage/story/verse in the Bible that inspires you?
“There are several, I could go on and on! One of the first scriptures I learned was, ‘Greater is He that is in you, than He that is in the world.’ I am Pentecostal so my favorite – and my message – is Acts 2:38. That is my scripture. The Book of Acts. The birth of the Church. That’s my favorite. I try to preach it everywhere I go. Peter told the people, ‘Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus for emission of sins and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. It went on to say in Verse 39, ‘For the promise is unto you and to your children and all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.’ I believe it is the greatest calling. God is calling people. There is an awakening to pentecost. The promise of the Holy Ghost. Some people do not believe it or understand it. But it is the greatest gift. I received it when I was a young boy. And that’s what I preach. I want everyone to receive the power of the Holy Ghost.”
What is the hardest part of being a preacher?
“To be a pastor – it’s an impossible thing to please everybody. I have learned to put God first. To have joy in your life. I have learned, Jesus first – others second – yourself last. So I apply that. I want to put Jesus first. In the Bible it says, ‘Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.’ My goal is to put Jesus first. And everything else will line up. And I have proved that over and over. I trust that process.”
What do you like most about being a pastor?
“They say about 8% is the pulpit ministry. I never wanted to be a preacher. I ran from it. But I remember the first time I was preaching – that feeling. It’s just something you cannot explain. So that would by my favorite part. Sometimes it’s not the easiest. And to be able to help people. Weddings. Even at funerals. I preached a funeral yesterday. God has opened a lot of doors, and I am there to bring comfort. And to help people.”
What do you think God wants from each of us?
“It is to love our neighbors as ourselves. I call that the eleventh commandment. I think it would be hard for people to be saved and go to heaven if they do not love their neighbor. Love people. And to not judge people. And love…love is the greatest.”
Eastgate Family Church meets each Sunday at 10 a.m. at 1245 East Goliad in Crockett. Call the church at 936-545-8868.
Greg Ritchie can be reached at [email protected]