CENTRAL BAPTIST 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 online at the end of this article. The Messenger would like to thank Cutshaw Chevrolet in Grapeland for sponsoring this week’s edition.
Shane Sibley is has been pastor of Central Baptist Church in Crockett for seven months. Today is National Back to Church Sunday. The theme for 2022 is “Hope Happens Here.”
When did you first feel a calling to be a preacher?
“That’s a difficult question, because it happened over a period of time. I felt the Lord’s call to the ministry, but I grew up wanting to be a high school football coach, like my dad. When the Lord starting calling me to ministry I thought, ‘No, You’ve got the wrong guy.’ I have a twin brother. I thought maybe the Lord was trying to speak to him, not me. You can’t run – well, you can run from God – and I did for a long time. That calling to the ministry just kept getting stronger and stronger. I was studying everything I could study. The funny thing is, I hadn’t said anything to anybody. It was an internal struggle. It was me fighting off God. One day my wife looked at me and said, ‘Alright, just tell me. You’re being called the ministry, aren’t you?’ I knew right then, that was God’s confirmation. The next Sunday I went and talked with our pastor.”
Is there a certain passage/story/verse in the Bible that inspires you?
“I lean on one that people sometime think is odd. Isaiah Chapter Six. Isaiah says, ‘I saw the Lord lifted up, high on his throne. His robe filled the entire temple. There were angels there. They had six wings – with two they covered their feet, with two they covered their eyes and with two they flew.’ One called to the other and said, ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty. And the whole earth is filled with His Glory.’ When I see things today in our world – and see the struggle we are going through – I think, God created all of this. He is holy. And His glory does fill us and the world. But there is going to be a day when we are going to stand there looking at God. And we are going to be like one of those angels. He is so much more than we can ever imagine. I find peace in that. I find comfort in that. Because I know that He is in control.”
What is the hardest part of being a preacher?
“Just being a man, being a human being. There are a lot of demands, personally. You want to be able to minister and visit with everybody you possibly can. The hardest part is to squeeze all that in – plus, I have a family. I have three kids. I take care of them. We are trying to buy a house here. The most difficult thing is prioritizing. ‘What am I going to do? When am I going to do it? How am I going to do it? It becomes very difficult. But that is the challenge of any job, really.”
What do you like most about being a pastor?
“The preaching part of it. I have always been afraid of public speaking. Growing up I hated it. Even today, if I have to stand up and give a presentation in front of a group of people – I get nervous and I shake and I start sweating. But when I get in the pulpit and I stand up to preach – God just takes over. All nerves go away. All stress goes away. I step up there and God’s in control. It’s an amazing feeling when I get done on Sunday mornings.”
What do you think God wants from each of us?
“First, He wants our love. Just as He loves us. He wants us to submit to Him and to love Him. To listen to Him. He wants us to glorify Him in all we do. He wants us to have a relationship with Him. He also wants us to love each other. We find ourselves where we are in the world today because that love is not there. It’s a supernatural love that is not there in our natural self. It has to come from God. He has to be involved in order for us to accomplish His will of loving people.”
Central Baptist Church meets each Sunday at 10:30 a.m. at 102 N. 7th Street in Crockett. Call the church at 936-544-3677.
Greg Ritchie can be reached at email@example.com