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Rev. J.A. Sweat Looking for a preacher? HERE I AM

P.O.box 1325, • Evans, Ga 30809 • United States • /see/charmin/CM03797

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Resume

J.A. Sweat
P.O. Box 1325
Evans, Ga. 30809

April 23, 2000

Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

Thank you for allowing me to send you this resume. I am currently a member of West Acres Baptist Church and was ordained by that church Sept. 19, 1999. Although I have only recently been ordained, I have experience in preaching and church administration from my background as a licensed pastor in the United Methodist Church. I left the United Methodist Church due to theological differences concerning the marriage and ordination of Gays, the ordination of women to preach, and baptism by immersion, and the inerrancy of scripture ( the first two they were for and I was against, the third and fourth I was for they were against).

I was raised a Southern Baptist and came to know Christ at an early age at Sherwood Baptist Church. I guess I'm proof of the scripture "raise up a child in the way that he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it."

I look forward to hearing from you and ask that God bless your search!

Respectfully yours,

John Sweat 

John Sweat
P.O. box 1325
Evans, Ga. 30809

Objective

I am looking for a church that wants to increase its membership through witnessing. A church that wants to increase its discipleship through bible study and righteous living. A church that wants bible-based preaching.

Family

I am married to my college sweetheart, Gena Sweat. We have three children Beth, age 16, Michael, age 14, and Zachary, age 7. Gena teaches first grade at Bayvale Elementary ( she won the Golden Apple Award last year). Beth plays the violin and trumpet and Michael plays the baritone horn in high school band. Zachary is learning the piano.

Employment

Student Pastor
June `98- December `98
Devereux Circuit
Devereux, Ga.

I was assigned to a four church circuit. All churches except one increased in membership. One church went from an average worship attendance of ten to fifty. (I do not claim responciblity for any church growth! ALL church growth is through the action of the Holy Spirit.)

Local Pastor
June `97- June 98
Dunn's Chapel
Appling, Ga

The church was plagued with administrative problems when I was assigned to it.

Due to the church having an older congregation, I started a children's worship and an evangelism effort which increased the younger couples attending and joining the church. As a result I was promoted to Student Pastor.

Education

Biology Major 1978-1986
Augusta College Augusta, Ga

Member Pi Kappa Phi and Student Union while working as Assistant Manager at local 7-11 convenience store.

License Practical Nurse and
Emergency Medical Technician 1987-1988
Augusta Technical Institute Augusta, Ga

Both courses taken concurrently.

Master of Divinity and
Master of Christain Education 1997-1998
Erskine Theological Seminary Due West, S.C.

I received a sound biblical knowledge but wished to receive a less predestination background.

Master of Divinity and
Master of Religious Education
Present Luther Rice Seminary Lithonia, Ga

I desired to attend a more traditional Southern Baptist seminary.

Skills

∙ Preaching
∙ Teaching Scripture
∙ Visiting homebound, sick and new members
∙ Evangelism, telling people of the saving power of Christ.

References available upon request

My Background



Question one. Tell us about your conversion and call to the ministry.

I was converted as a young boy, about 10 or 11, at Sherwood Baptist Church in south Augusta, Ga. I felt God's urge to go forward, but fought it by holding on to the pew in front of me. I also heard the Deceiver telling me there was plenty of time and I didn't have to go now. But God won out and tearfully I went down and gave my life to Christ. But I really didn't feel any different, no change, no fireworks, no nothing. I was disappointed to say the least. I was scheduled for baptism and went through the membership class always expecting something, anything, to confirm that I belonged to Christ, but nothing came. Finally, on my Baptism that night I went through the waters and came out, got dressed, and was getting ready to leave the church, walking up the middle isle of the church when it hit me.

Have you ever carried a weight for so long that you forget you have it? I had a weight on my shoulders I never knew I carried, that is until it came off! All of a sudden I felt as if a ton of lead had been lifted off my shoulders. I felt so light that if I got a good start, I could jump and fly to heaven. That was when I knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I belonged to Christ.

As far as my call to the ministry, I always thought that I would end up in the ministry. But I thought my ministry would be one of service. I have been trained as, and worked as, an EMT, LPN, substitute teacher, and a had few other jobs in college, including a dishwasher in the V.A. Canteen, and assistant manager of a 7-11. It was while I was working as an L.P.N. in a local hospital that I received my call to the ministry. At first I tried to ignore it, but that didn't work. Then I tried to negotiate with God. I told God that I would do any job he had for in the church (I was a member of a United Methodist Church at the time), but that didn't work either. So I told God I would learn more about him and enrolled in a through the mail seminary. But all through this the "hound of Heaven" was chasing me, not allowing me any rest. Part of my seminary work was supposed to be proctored, or watched over, by a minister. When I asked my minister, he suggested that I become part of the United Methodist Church candidacy process. I thought that since I had been called while attending a Methodist church that I should be a Methodist minister. I had progressed in the process. I attended the license to preach school. I was licensed as a local pastor, and placed in the candidacy for ordination process. But through it all I had forgotten the verse " raise up a child in the way that he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it." I was a Baptist in a Methodist church. I raised my voice against things I thought were wrong in the church and was constantly told that it was tradition, or they were simply studying the issue. The main crust of my problems was the questions were we to follow the scriptures or tradition. Finally I asked if the church was to change society or was society to change the church. The answer I received caused me to finally leave the United Methodist Church I am called to the ministry and that is evidenced by my gifts. All churches that worked with me and allowed me to minister to them grew, without exception!

Question two What is your understanding of the nature and purpose of a local church?

Matthew 28:19,20"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen."

The nature and purpose of the church today have not changed since Jesus gave us the Great Commission. We are to preach, teach, and disciple all nations. Preaching includes evangelizing all who come in our paths, all who don't know the living God, all who have left behind his righteousness for other paths. Evangelism is simply telling people about how God has changed our lives. The first century church grew by leaps and bounds because everyone was an evangelist, everyone told about Christ and what he had done for them.

Teaching shows how to live a life that is pleasing to God. The scriptures tell us "I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against thee." We need to hide God's Word in our hearts so that we become shining examples to a lost and hurting world. What we, as a church today, need more of is knowledge of God. This, according to the Old Testament, is the only thing we have a right to boast about. Everything else is a gift from God. Our knowledge of God is obtained through spending time in His Word, prayerful study and meditation. And most of all, reliance on the Holy Spirit to direct our paths through scriptures.

Discipleship is helping one another in their walk with Christ. Showing how God can help overcome past hurts, past wrongs, past mistakes are an important part of our Christian walk. This can only be shared one on one. This one on one ministry is the heart of Christian Discipleship. A mature Christian walking with and showing a new Christian, or one who has wandered from the path, how to "walk the walk and talk the talk," how to live so that those around you can see Christ in you. We have many people who claim to be "Christian" but do not live in a Christian manner. These are the ones whom James says their faith is dead. There are many who like Christ said in the parable of the sower and the seeds, have no root and when trouble comes wither and die. Our job as a Christian church is to provide the root so that it may grow into something God will be proud of.

Two things often not included in this list are things necessary and called for by a biblical church. And they are fellowship and worship. Fellowship builds the church by forming relationships between members. Members are no longer the guys that sit on the third pew from the back. But we actually begin to place these people in our lives and in our hearts. And one way we achieve fellowship with God is through worship. Worship should be a direct communication and association with the All Mighty.

Question four What is your understanding of the role of lay person?

The role of the lay person is to be part of a holy and royal priesthood. They are called to be salt and light to a hurting world. God has placed himself, in the form of his Holy Spirit, in each of them to equip and counsel them in their needed positions. They are to go into the world and bring salvation and repentance, joy and honor, grace and love to a world that has been deceived, abused, falsified, and alienated to and from God. This royal priesthood is our greatest weapon and our most unused resource. When properly used this weapon, this resource, can win a neighborhood, a community, a city, a state, a nation to Christ.

I believe the laity should be involved in all aspects of the church. The ultimate authority in the church lies in the church council, which is made of the laity. It is often through this community of believers that God shows his will for the church. It is through this laity, this royal priesthood, that Christ has his greatest impact. The minister and the deacons are limited by their number and strength. But the laity fills in those gaps, they teach, they minister, they facilitate fellowship andworship. They are God's secret weapon and our unused resource.

Question six Do you accept without reservation " The Baptist Faith and Message" statement?Please enlarge on your view of: the Bible, the Holy Spirit, the priesthood of the believer, the role of Christ, salvation and the second coming of Christ.

A) Yes, I do accept the Baptist Faith and Message as adopted and amended by the Convention of June 9, 1998.

B) The Bible is the holy and inspired Word of God, given to men by prophets and apostles by inspiration of the Holy Spirit. It is without error, in the original form. I do have a problem with some modern versions in which the translators allowed political, social and doctrinal assumptions to influence their translations.

C) he Holy Sprit is the third person of the Trinity. Sent as the comforter to inspire and assist in the work of the Church. It calls men to repentance and affects regeneration. It is also the agent of God that delivers the spiritual gifts by which we serve God through the Church.

E) The role of Christ was to come in human form to be our propitiation for sin. Christ was wholly God and man. He was a unique person, conceived by action of the Holy Spirit, Born of the virgin Mary, taught for approximately three years, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified died and was buried, He died although he was sinless and death is a penalty for sin, on the third day he arose from the dead. Thereby proving his victory over death and sin. He ascended into Heaven where he sits on the right hand of God. He is the only way to God and is counted as our righteousness. He alone allows man to view by God as acceptable, and it is through his death and resurrection that we are counted as children of God.

F) Salvation is available to all men who believe in Christ Jesus and are bought by his blood. Salvation is a broad term that included repentance, regeneration, sanctification, and glorification. Repentance is the genuine turning from sin to Christ as the sole means of salvation.

Regeneration is the new birth by the Holy Spirit and is an act of God's grace (free and an undeserved gift of God). Sanctification is the process of the believer to spiritual and mortal perfection in Christ. Glorification is the final act of sanctification whereby the individual believer is brought to the state of the

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