One of the more interesting people I met at the NWTF Convention last weekend was a nice young man called Jeremy Hendrick. He was running a stall to promote his unusual Christian ministry.
Junior and I spent a awhile talking to Jeremy, because his story is such an interesting one. Well, to be strictly accurate, I spent a long time talking to him while Junior gave me worried looks and kept wandering off to look for deer jerky to send to his friends back in London.
Jeremy comes from Hillsville, Virginia, quite a charming little town nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, an area I know well. At the 2006 census there were 2,849 people living in Hillsville, and there are seven churches. Besides the annual Labor Day Flea Market and Gun Show at the beginning of September, there is not alot to do in Hillsville except hunting and worship. In Jeremy’s words:
‘There are two things that I have always been passionate about. The first is my love for Jesus Christ and the second is my love for hunting. I was raised in church all my life but realized at the age of nine that I needed Jesus in my life as my Savior to assure my eternal future in Heaven. I began hunting even before meeting Jesus. I can remember hunting at such a young age that I wasn’t even allowed to carry a weapon. As a teenager I began competing in turkey calling competitions and had a great deal of success.’
By the time he was in his early twenties, Jeremy was working both as a professional hunter and as an assistant Pastor at his church in Hillsville.
‘I talked to the Pastor about doing a turkey hunting seminar at the church to see if we could reach some new people that didn’t normally come to church…The event was a complete success because we introduced people to turkey hunting as well as Jesus Christ. Extreme Passion Ministries began in 2006 as a video ministry but has grown into so much more. I believe the sky’s the limit with who can be reached through the world of hunting.’
Pastor Jeremy Hendrick
I had a dream last night that President Obama sent Jeremy to Tripoli to try to bring Moammar Gadhafi home to Jesus. The weird thing was, when I woke up this morning, it took me a few minutes to figure out whether it was true or not. Frankly at this point, Jeremy might be our best shot at the guy, if you know what I mean.
He was at the Convention to promote his new idea: Camo Church. I am pretty excited about this. As Jeremy puts it, ‘Picture yourself surrounded by your best friends dressed in camouflage, watching hunting clips and sharing personal stories of success and failure in the woods all while sitting in church. Every Christian who is a hunter would love the opportunity to go to a church where this would happen.
The idea of Camo Church is to provide a comfortable environment for Christian hunters to invite their friends to church. This is not a typical church. It may or may not meet in a regular church building and could meet any time during the week. The pastor would even be dressed in camouflage himself. Sound too good to be true, think again. At Extreme Passion Ministries, we desire for Camo Churches to be located in areas all across the world.’
Jeremy explained to me that if I wanted to start a Camo Church in my area he could arrange to come and preach dressed in camouflage for a few nights to test the water. I am seriously thinking that this might be a great idea for a dinner party. But I expect that he has more important things to do than freak out my arty-farty friends. So I have reluctantly concluded that Camo Church is not going to be the right way to make me rapture ready this year.
You can learn more about Jeremy’s work, and read about his ministry team (be sure to read about little Ethan, who met God while mowing the lawn — such a cutie!) at Extreme Passion Ministries.
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