The Blue Mountain Review Issue 8

Page 174

Faces of Faith Interview with Pastor Gerald L. Rice Compiled and Composed by Casanova Green Many people say what first catches their attention about Pastor Gerald L. Rice is his loving heart, deep humility, peaceful demeanor, and willingness to tell the truth in a way that brings people hope and revelation. As the Senior Pastor of Judah Christian Community in Columbus, OH, Pastor Rice shepherds a multicultural congregation of believers and advises pastors and leaders locally, nationally, and internationally. He is also the Founder and President of March for Freedom, an anti-human trafficking organization, and hosts a yearly march from Columbus City Hall to the Ohio Statehouse. He has traveled nationally and internationally preaching and teaching the Word of God and serving communities. Beyond the pulpit, he is a devoted family man and a talented musician and songwriter. I have the honor of calling him my pastor. He has been a part of my life since birth and I have watched and served with him in ministry most recently as Minister of Music at Judah from 2011 until 2016. Currently, he serves as the Apostolic Overseer for the church my wife and I pastor in Lancaster, OH, True Vision Christian Community. His influence and effect on the lives he touches is undeniable and he challenges people to be the best they can and always move forward. In our interview, we discuss music, racial reconciliation and the history of Judah, and advice for creatives who are looking to balance faith and their artistic gifts. 1) Tell us a little about yourself. I am a person who loves to talk to God and, by way of the Holy Spirit, can listen to what He has to say. That is the greatest thing you can experience other than your salvation. I feel like no matter how much you learn in this life, there is so much more to learn and it's best to live in the classroom of God. I am married to a wonderful women name Eileen who has brought a life full of joy to me. I have eight children and 18 grandchildren. I have been pastoring for 25 years which has taken me all over the world. I have preached in Kenya, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Thailand and other places in Asia. I am so excited to see what the Lord is going to do next. I was saved at the age of 8 when my family bought a large Bible with lots of pictures in it. The stories in the old testament convinced me that God is real. 2) Many people know you not only as a pastor but as a talented, honestly virtuoso, guitarist. How did music become a major part of your life and ministry? Music has been a major part of my life since I was a little boy. I knew all the songs that I listened to from my dad and mom. I love having the ability to praise and worship using an instrument to express what I feel in my spirit. King David could change the atmosphere by using an instrument. My guitar is an extension of me. It speaks what my heart fills. 3) You and my mom inspired me to write music that glorifies God. One of my earliest memories is sitting on the floor watching you two playing and singing a song you wrote called "Unjustified Lives." What is your writing or creative process? I spend a lot of time each morning doing praise and worship by myself. The early morning inspires me to write. 4) One of the strengths of your over 30 years in ministry is your relevancy. I still listen to sermons from when I was a child and they speak volumes today. What makes you and your messages relevant to today's world? 174 | T h e B l u e M o u n t a i n R e v i e w I s s u e 8