Pastor Harry Warren
I have been at Lebanon since December 2006, but my story began in Lafollette, Tennessee. I was pretty average and lived in a neighborhood with lots of kids near my own age. We sometimes got into trouble and arguments but most are still life long friends. Being raised in church and taught by parents who went too, had a lasting influence on me but didn't show up until later on. I played high school football, water skiied and generally had fun. When I went to college, I experienced real freedom for the first time and began drifting from the things I knew to be right. I was hanging around with guys who did a lot of things that were wrong and could have gotten me into lots of trouble since I was doing them, too. After attending Carson Newman College and Lincoln Memorial University I transferred to the University of Tennessee. I began running with the wrong crowd there (I was a slow learner). But something happend between summer school and fall term. I had helped transport some teens to a Christian camp, Look Up Lodge in South Carolina, and made fun of some of them having to be there a whole week. What a broing place to spend a week. That summer I had started going to another church and had a desire to date the preacher's daughter who was one of the teens who had gone to camp. Some of the counselors from the camp came to LaFollette after camp for the weekend. I saw my chance to be with the preacher's daughter so I volunteered to take her that night after church for the get together at the lake. I was kind of out of place because they were all talking about what God had done in their lives that summer. Some of the counselors were my age but I had never heard anyone talking about Jesus the way they did. On the way home, my "date" and I were talking and after awhile she made this statement, "If you're not living like a Christian, you may not be one." That really hit home and I realized right then that I was not a Christian and was not going to heaven. My sinful lifestyle was directly opposite of what I knew it should be. This really stayed on my mind and a couple of weeks later our little church had a revival with a college student doing the preaching. On Sunday night, I decided to go hear him again, even though I never went on Sunday nights. Before the service, I was asked to give a testimony about what God had done in my live. But I couldn't because I knew I was not a believer. At the end of the service, I couldn't stop crying. That was not at all normal for me. The pastor, Rev. Paul Heatherly asked me what was wrong and i blurted out. "Paul I need God!" I came and knelt on the front pew and confessed my sin and asked God to forgive me and He did and my life changed overnight. Oh, I dont' mean I became perfect at all (still aren't), but now I looked at things differently. I wanted to go to church, I wanted to tell others what had happened to me. One of the first really obvious changes I and my friends noticed was my language. I quit cussing and I didn't even have to try. The words just didn't come to mind or come out of my mouth any more. This has remained true with very few exceptions even to this day. Other things didn't change so quickly. After all, I was a young believer. God began a work of changing my life and He's still changing me. It wasn't long before God began making a way for me to grow in my faith and knowledge of Jesus and the Bible. Campus Crusade for Chist, a campus ministry, was a great tool He used as well as my home church and pastor. God began putting thoughts of being a music leader in my mind and as I pursued that, He guided me to Southwestern Seminary. But the year before going, while working at Look Up Lodge (remember the one I laughted at the others for going to) I met my future wife, Bea Jay, She is a godly woman and tremendous partner in life and ministry for almost 44 years. After serving in Jackson, Michigan as a youth minister for 8 years, we went back to Southwestern to prepare to be a pastor, which I never dreamed would happen to this east Tennessee boy. After finishing there again we went back to Michigan and then to Georgia and now to South Carolina.God blessed us with two children and now nine precious grandchildren. God has helped us in the good times and in the difficult times. He has used us to help others and used others to help us. I am thankful He chose to patiently wait for me to trust Jeus to forgive me and give me a truely abundant life. He can do the same for anyone who will come humbly to Him, confessing their sin, repenting (turning away) from their sin and asking Him to be their Savior and Lord.
Charlotte Taylor, Minister of Music
Ann Margaret Chastain, Pianist
Susan Hart, Nursery Director
Carol Harrison, Custodian