Nashville, TN -- (SBWIRE) -- 12/30/2005 -- In his 25 years of ministry, Steve Breedlove, senior pastor of Friendship Church in Rock Island, Tennessee, has never sought the spotlight in delivering Christ’s message of hope for the lost and hurting.
The 54-year-old pastor and evangelist is increasingly finding himself in demand in pulpits throughout the Southeastern United States as people hungering for a touch from God respond to his powerful message.
“It’s all about God reaching out to needy people who are desperate enough to come just as they are to receive His grace,” explained Breedlove.
Recently Breedlove was invited to appear on Trinity Broadcasting Network’s (TBN) “Praise the Lord” program (date to be announced), broadcast from TBN’s Nashville studio.
In many denominational circles, a degree from a seminary is a requirement. “However, Steve has had no formal training of this type to be doing what he’s doing with such effectiveness,” explained Chris Gentry, a member of Friendship and one of Breedlove’s ministry associates. “What he has been through is the School of the Holy Spirit. That has really prepared him to be sensitive to what God wants to do today.”
“Pastor Steve has a servant’s heart and a genuine burden to reach the lost and hurting” said Susan Zahn, a media-ministry expert and President of WDC Media, one of the nation’s leading Christian public relations firms. “I believe God is going to use Steve in a powerful way to spread the Gospel and bring souls into the Kingdom.”
Before heeding God’s call to preach, Breedlove built a successful plumbing and electrical contracting business. It is a career he still maintains, in addition to being a full-time pastor. But at 35 years of age, God began to deal with him about pouring his life into the eternal destinies of others.
“I resisted it for a while,” he recalled. “But everyday I was confronted with needy, hurting, lost people, and I knew there was freedom and healing and deliverance right in front of them. So often I saw the church letting them slip through the cracks. I knew I was specifically called to deliver a message of freedom and deliverance to them.”
That call ultimately led Breedlove to take the pastorate of Friendship Church, a 100-year-old congregation with Baptist roots. “While our background is Baptist,” Breedlove explained, “our message and ministry is full gospel, and God has definitely empowered us with His Holy Spirit. In fact, many people refer to us as ‘Bapticostal.”
Friendship’s openness to the fullness of the Holy Spirit has been the difference in the impact the church has had in the community – and beyond.
“It started with our own congregation of approximately 600,” explained Gentry. “When you give the Holy Spirit freedom to work he’ll start right where you’re at, and it will be like a chain reaction. As our own folks began to be filled with the Holy Spirit and changed, it was like a magnet that drew people from all over, searching for something more.”
Breedlove noted that there has been a real hunger among those at Friendship for a deeper walk with God. That has drawn people from far and near. “We’re serious about God,” he said. “We’re not interested in tradition or religion. We want to experience the liberty that Christ promised.”
In fact, II Corinthians 3:17 – “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” -- has become a guiding principle for Friendship.
“Steve’s preaching and ministry in the Spirit has provided the leading this church needed to take off,” explained Gentry. “And the key word that defines his whole ministry is liberty – his constant prayer and focus is to set captives at liberty through Christ.”
The freshness and anointing that characterizes Breedlove’s ministry has begun to put his work in demand outside of Rock Island. His upcoming appearance on TBN is an indication that his ministry is being noticed in larger circles.
Breedlove believes God has called him and Friendship Church to a worldwide evangelistic ministry, but he is careful to put it all in proper perspective. “This isn’t about me,” he said. “And it’s not about our church. It’s about God’s desire to pour out His mercy and grace on all people in these last days. That’s the business we want to be about.”
For more on the ministry of Pastor Steve Breedlove and Friendship Church, visit www.friendship-ministries.com, call 931-686-2850, or e-mail the church at firstname.lastname@example.org.