Although Jeff Faull was following four generations of preachers when he graduated from high school at 17, he found himself as an apprentice meat cutter on his way to a life as a butcher. He still felt the call for theological training, which led him to Cincinnati Christian University. His intentions were to complete a semester and then go back home to Indiana and the apprenticeship.

It wasn’t his pastoral calling that held him back. “I struggled with stage fright,” Faull said. “I had an unwillingness to be in front of people.” Being in front of people is one of the essential skills needed by a preacher and Faull knew it from watching his father and grandfather.

Part of the course of study at the Bible school was being part of teams sent out to other churches in the region. “A leader (at the Bible school) took me under his wing and instilled  some self-confidence in me,” Faull said. “I was coerced into giving the message at a country church in Kentucky. The moment I stepped down from that platform, I knew what I was going to do with my life.”

He says that the message he shared that day was borrowed from his dad but it was that moment when he saw his future path. “It was a realization that God could use me and I had never felt that before that day.” Faull finished his studies and went to Union City, Indiana as a minister in a small non-denominational church.

Coming to Mt Gilead

While a student CCU, Faull had been able to intern at Mt Gilead. It was the hometown church his wife, Valerie, had attended growing up in Mooresville. When the opportunity to take the position of minister at Mt Gilead arose in 1988, Faull was just 26 years old. “Since five years had elapsed while we were cutting our teeth in Union City,” Faull said, “it was a homecoming for her and we both knew some people here.”

It was a great opportunity in Faull’s mind because he would be following a much-loved leader who had been at Mt. Gilead for sixteen years. “Terry Crist had done an incredible job laying the groundwork here so it was easy to follow in his footsteps and follow his pattern.” Crist has since rejoined the Mt Gilead ministry team.

Now, just a month after his 30-year anniversary at Mt Gilead, Faull has the advantage of being able to view his years and the changes in the church in retrospect. “I wanted our church to grow but I didn’t start out with this incredible vision of what Mt Gilead would become,” Faull said. “I just wanted to bring the gospel to as many people as possible and create as many life-long disciples as I could. Many got on board and this is where we have gotten over the years.”

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