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October 31, 2020 1:00 am
Nikita is joined by Pastor Derrick Hawkins and Pastor Jay Stewart of The Refuge Church, as they discuss their new book, "Welded: Forming Racial Bonds That Last," which is set to release in November 2020.
This is Robbie Gilmore from the Christian car guy and King in pursuit where we hear how God takes your passion and uses it to build the kingdom your chosen Truth Network podcast is starting in just a few seconds. Enjoy it and share it but most of all, thank you for listening and for choosing The Truth Podcast Network network. This is the Truth Network. Once a world champion wrestler, now a champion for Christ. Once the Russian nightmare. Now the devil's worst nightmare in your tagteam partner cheetah call this time the cuticle of the Russian nightmare. Well, actually the devil's worst nightmare, do we have a show for you today we are going to broach a very timely topic that is heavy on the hearts of many racial reconciliation. How do we get there. How does it begin in studio today, a black pastor, Pastor Derek Hawkins from Greensboro and my pastor a white pastor pastor Jay Stewart from Kannapolis, North Carolina.
Stay tuned men. It is such a pleasure. Such a joy such a blessing to have my pastor Jay Stewart in the studio with us today. Pastor Derek Hawkins. You hear more about their story and and it you know we are going to talk about. As I said a very, really, somewhat, in some cases, some might view it as a sensitive subject of racial reconciliation guys, welcome to it's time to man up. I think you Nikita man. It is such an honor to be here were very very excited about these next few minutes together. I believe this can be some great things happen in the next little bit as well. Thank you Pastor Derek for coming as well. Remicade is a great honor to be here with you guys. A man who didn't grow up watching TV that is key.
Assuming it's an honor and awesome opportunity just to be here talking about a new book are at, what here's I want to know, though, so you watch me growing up on TV but did you booby or did you cheer me Malibu eulogy at the same time, I will people that love to hate me. At one. I miss you. I was the most most hated guy in restaurant employment became a fan favorite with the American dream Dusty Rhodes at a certain point as well. So well and I appreciate you being a fan. Thank you for that.
But I am guys I'm I'm super excited about having you guys here in and really talking about this topic, you jump into that in a minute because it's really close to home in OJ we know each other long Thomas share for listeners little bit of the back story. You gotta know how much of of the back story you know but II tell you why this is close to home.
What what you guys are doing, which I believe is going to just impact greatly.
I believe a worldwide market that is certainly here in America but I believe worldwide because Derek don't know some of my story might my roots began in Minneapolis and what I effectually call what while they called the Minneapolis Housing Authority. That was the fancy word but for me it was the project server if you want to say, the ghettos of Minneapolis feel grown up with would know dad.
My dad left when I was like three became a product of welfare.
I mean you we were one of the very last I think actually like the second to last white family to move out of the project so all that to say some of my best friends.
You know what Edwin comes to mind and she did not say his name back days, that's when you know why I'm like my best friend at one but I me so don't all my best friend growing up. I mean, you black brothers that you know and we display it in and the music Man I bet you have 100, like milk in the hundred albums R&B albums up in my attic right now from Kool and the gang to Curtis Mayfield optimality event like you got I got I could go right down the list of record is blown away movement of crazy colors make you come all I could go right down the lid. I could give you a list of all my favorite artist man from the RBD Motown and and I'm just telling you so so I sell at the say have a real hard for what you guys are doing and that's why know what you're doing is getting to be amazing, but let me just give for our list is just a quick back story on pastor Jay week we first met we go back all the way to 1990 3J when when I first gave my life to the Lord October 17, 1993 and it began to develop a relationship. From there, and here we are all these years later not only friends but brothers in the Lord and and you've been a mentor of mine over the years and and and then there was a season of time. There were kinda went our separate ways. Where where Lord called you first season down to to Alabama call me for season over to Tennessee but we still stayed in contact. You come back.
The Lord leads you back to Concorde Kannapolis area 2004 and add to our plant to a brand-new church called the refugee 40 people and in a basement in a house right now. You want to just tell tell folks is a little bit about some of that story yet so like Nikita said we go way back in his little piece of trivia. A lot of people don't know. We do have a long history of relationship. Most people don't know in our little town with a lot of upbeat Nikita four times an arm wrestling you don't let that out of the bag. Well here's the thing, you were dead asleep soundlessly.
You have no recollection of it but I did whip you four times while you were sleeping so I just want to throw that out there, but a great relationship that we have great friendship and really it's been a picture of what the Bible talks about iron sharpening iron because Nikita has sharpened my life. I am such a better man because of our friendship relationship. Great mutual respect. We walked each each other through some tough times and tough places we prayed for each other. We pray for each other's families and kids for years. Now decades. It is kind of weird to say it anyway in 2004, while we were pastoring in LA a lower Alabama God called us back to the Carolinas to plant a church and is something I never thought I would do very unglamorous beginnings as a key dimension. We started in the basement of the house with about 40 people and the Lord just breezed on it in terms of church planting. We did a lot of things wrong but we had a word from the Lord.
We had a donated sound system from big daddy weave and we just begin meeting and the presence of God came we went from 40 to 400 people over the next nine months we move from the basement after four weeks to a middle school auditorium and then ironically enough, we started renting a warehouse and the sign was still out in front of it because it had previously been Nikita's Jim it was your fitness center back in the day you let let me live it up and asked them to jump in their J because a member when you call me I just got back from a mission trip, and in South Africa and we talked on the phone you like a plant a new church and guess what the little guy McLuhan you like.
We got your old gym building to get here and you like no I for real. I leave this back to that building it in a course. Eventually I and I was in Tennessee at the time came back the lead come back be a part of that new church plant jumped in and saw the transformation was cool for me as I saw there's a parallel there. The transformation of that physical building going from a gym training training physical muscles to become in a church and training spiritual muscles right and paralleled my own life journey with Jesus. Jones is crazy. It's so cool how all of that unfolded and worked out and there we were in what was formally Nikita's Jim and now we were in a training people spiritually and we met there for 10 years in that building. You know, a small there was really no reason people should show up there. We shared a parking lot with a scrap metal in a junkyard and the men the presence of God was stronger and we saw our church continue to grow. We went from one service to 2 to 3 to 4 services every weekend and then we started planting other campuses and all the while just believing that one day God would give us a larger facility and that's what he did.
Yeah. And in this or I have vivid memories of of those first 10 years over over on that campus and on and just you know the challenges of it that was there to watch you guys walk through the challenges of dad and and yet you were faithful and in the Lord sustained Yoshi sustained you through all of that out and then eventually as you mention, you know you you you you expand to campus in Salisbury, North Carolina, and then eventually to like Brazil and and and even West Africa got to campuses in Brazil mounted campuses in West Africa, one in Salisbury which is 25 miles away and then I'm sure we'll get to this piece of the story, but a campus in Greensboro, North Carolina 70 miles away. Jan, in fact, I was just going to lead lead into that the pastor Derek was with us in studio today is here because of that expansion into Greensboro and really kind of the merger of two churches and and the timing of all that right was interesting right or very interesting, and it all started actually just a few months after we moved into our new campus. We bought 30 acres of property built a beautiful building and and moved into it on our 10 year anniversary and then a few months after that I walked out after preaching, always, even to this. I am always out in the concourse. I don't how to love to be around people and this young black man walks up to me introduces himself as pastor Derek Hawkins and says that he has been asked to take over the senior pastor of the church in Greensboro, which ironically was called the house of refuge and so we met that day. He said hey I would love to meet with you and love for you to coach me mentor me, help me prepare to take over the church and I did and thus began this beautiful relationship that led us to places we never could have imagined.
Well which is interesting that just leads really right into helmet pulled pastor Derek here into the conversation here in the sec. because so and and and Jacob and a mentor to to so many of myself and so many others so many pastors, the people, even outside of of ministry and so pastor Derrico boy wisdom at it at an early age for use so so pastor Derek tell us how showcase of God brings this 50 something-year-old white guy at a 30 something-year-old black guy rather you just led to tell us about that.
What led you to seek him out or reach out to him. My wife and okay go to the woman behind him. Everybody every good man is a woman that's also the mother giving responsibilities to a father take his daughter to get her hair done. On the one Saturday morning. Of course some sin back you know. Enjoy my day thinking I had the day off and in all of the sentences is handed to take you going to get aired and want to raise us.
Osborne of Kalama family was there and never saw this building is Salisbury. This is the refuge is a huge gigantic rated graphic sign this in the center of the building that this attracted me to it. So ironically call the number. It has the number but it doesn't leave you Salisbury leads me to connect with something like what is going on with business, and I call get the receptionist and I was looking for graphic notice of the similar drug buildings in Greensboro course it was called house of refuge. How ironic.
The building the builders look, similar in their Salisbury location SOI call K is a got a Marcellos over the graphics at the time we schedule a time to sit out in the end just from our first initial meeting till something on him and his like that you needed me pastor Jay Stewart and so I went back from that meeting and ask my passes. Hey, would you release me to go check out the stars, refuge, what it is but I dislike it might be something on that meeting. I came down a few months after they'd open the building and banning leaps he was preaching a revival on never forget the message of revival is currently in a way the president got was so strong man. I literally wept all the way home from that meeting, but being in the concourse. I want the passage they approached them a course in a church that do not expect to see a pastor come out in the middle of the concourse. The Greek right hundreds of people coming out right services right after they did that night is actually told me early real wood emitted earlier. Hey, would you mind if yes, every time disappointed me.
I sent an email. I followed up and every month we would get together for a year and 1/2 this year.
Life just stories he begin appointment me into my marriage into my brokenness teaching me how to be a pastor, teaching the strategies which is an amazing guy with a customer strategy and just disappointing to me. No motives nor tier motives just a genuine relationship that was built over time yeah and that's it. That is about you. You mentioned that again.
I meant to mention that's one of one of the many things I love about Jay is and he doesn't hide in his office is not unreachable or untouchable. And that's not a knock on on on other pastors. That is to say, that's where his heart is adhesive people person to anyone who visits the Kannapolis campus of the refugee you will find him in between, and/or after service, and even sometimes before service just out, you know, shaken hands, hugging people, snacks, which is still okay because God got our backs covered governess test up so that that's when I preach it so that let leads Jay into this this year and 1/2 of of mentoring with with pastor Derek done yet. So like you said we met every single month really just talking about the transition from the founding pastors of the house of refuge to him and then after we met a few months, the founding pastors ask if they could come in. They wanted to meet the guy that was pouring into their spiritual son sure to looking down. We met in Ellison from the very first time that I met pastor Derek in the very first time I met Bishop and pastor Allen. I just really sense that there was something unique about the relationship that it just felt like an instant Holy Spirit connection, and so we had these meetings and then at times I would bring members of their leadership team. There would be sometimes 10 to 12 people meeting in my greenroom in my office talking about the transition getting them ready again, never thinking about anything except hey minimal help this church. Yeah let's help get him ready and what we say at the refuge all the times were not trying to build a castle. We want to build the kingdom.
So just trying to build the kingdom of God. And then one day while we were meeting in the middle of our meeting, I hear the Holy Spirit say to me asked them if they've ever had conversations about becoming a campus of the refuge. And so while were talking I got this internal battle going on inside of me. I basically said to the Holy Spirit. I will not ask them that obedience right now. Yeah, maybe you've never been there.
Maybe your holier than I am, but I was like I'm not going to ask him that, because I don't want him to think that I've had a motive and agenda. All this and I dimmed all this time, but anyway, long story short, the Lord went wins out and I've finally asking the question, they'll start laughing nicely and that's something we talk about all the time so that all of us have a sense man got to do something that we didn't see coming in so we start having the conversations about merging about the house of refuge becoming a campus of the refuge in Greensboro and we start announcing and making plans to make that announcement and to see that merger come about.
Okay what would satirically ask ask you that, so show that you guys are excited to have these conversations and and not up into the Greensboro campus. But is it because I haven't been there. I probably should know this, but that is based in all black church.
The right is that for predominantly going after marketers okay so so all so merge with with this campus and evaluator yeah yes yeah lily white that week we have we have some diversity there and Nevis Is for sure and add more and more is happening. God is just moving in my way.
So, so this is all coming about in and this happens, was one of the merger actually take place, so happen. Actually, in November 2060 10 we made the announcement in September 2060 about that, came about with the key for mascot shooting of the ash are right in Charlotte.
Okay, so we can automate going out with the Ben and David and Jason bin of Gaza know them and passage eight we had this past this roundtable passes all across the country, come together the passage a host at the refuge and from there he invited me out to months he actually invited me to the roundtable that you say let's go grass months with a group of passes from Texas and we want to get married like hey David and Jason Ben-Ami here. You don't even know how much of God that is not from that.
May we get back we see the video, it goes viral, but it's how we get back from eating barbecue literally back to the office is already at 10,000 views and charisma called I mean anybody that you can make CBN 700 club reached out to us a Christian post and that's how God began to literally breathe all the stories I mean we've never been responsible.
The only responsibility that we have is to steward the invoice that God is given us and allowing us to change the narrative in America and across the world will let me Derek, stay with you for many Derek is Lee leading into this massive project that you guys are currently working on.
But it's a miracle story I want to get to root real quick because the church is merge tragedy strikes, but that's it, just the two and half years ago as a tornado blows through Greensboro and wipes out the chert levels the church writing levels. The church levels the church and it's been a 2 1/2 year project in the making. But God shows up in a miraculous way. I know you just recently reopened after 2 1/2 years and I saw where were you said that's not the end of the story here is the best part of the story you guys opened the doors debt free. The MRI the grace of God, man, this the whole 2 1/2 year journey and I don't know what I would've done without passages with them and navigating us through this season. You know having to be worse observes that 2 o'clock we grew by 43% over the course of that.
It was this an amazing opportunity and got breathe on campus that lesson that eight guys live folks listen note note. No church building 43% growth without a church building. Over the course of two nephews and now they open the doors debt free. What it what a God story that is renting a church. Essentially, what a great place to be empathetic that feeds into you. J maybe I'll bring you in on this. It really kinda that that brings us to this current project that you guys are working on. Tell us about this. We said we want to talk about racial reconciliation you you the two of you in the merger of chert. These two churches are a model of that that could be a model for America but talked about this newest project here that you work on this so it was obvious back in 2016 that in the midst of so much division and hatred and angst and confusion that God wanted to write a better narrative and for whatever reason the Lord chose to do that through us and our story went to the national platforms and then in 2019.
Again, the Lord just took it to another level of influence when a New York journalist discovered our story on the Internet came down interviewed released an article and then the article went viral again. We had started writing a book together in 2017.
We wrote the first two chapters, and then everything, got put on the back burner because of the tornado and everything that happened in Greensboro, but then when the article released in November 2019, we knew it was time to write again.
So we began writing again. And this past summer we landed a major book deal and are book welded forming racial bonds that last say that again what's the name of it welded forming racial bonds that last releases nationwide everywhere everywhere.
Books are sold, and in other countries. November 17 there's already been tremendous excitement and feedback and response about the book even before it releases we've got endorsements from people like Dr. Tony Evans and Robert Morris and Mike Weaver from big daddy weave and pastor John Hannon on several loft and a cuticle. Of course you guys all yeah but anyway of the book is releasing soon were very excited about it and we believe it's going to be a real healing agent in our nation.
The timing could not be better right. We know there's still a lot of division absolutely Derek only pull you in just just a few minutes remaining here so still give us your a quick pursue your perspective on the impact you feel this book will have regarding racial reconciliation. Give me your prospectus go to bring healing and also conviction deeply within the hearts of thing.
The one thing that the enemies been designed to do amongst races and ethnicities is to divide us. What is the gospel that unites us saw throughout Scripture we see the gospel and how it will guide Jesus uses the gospel to unite us to bring us together and I believe that this book is a healing agent to worlds into donations into cities and communities alike that need to hear healing limits of the visit is so easy just to stand in your own silos or just do your own thing that I believe that is so much health and community and also building healthy relationships that last knots good. The dirt and it ultimately Scriptures as one race or human race. A lot of different ethnic groups within that one human race right at the end of the day is up really realistically we say again the again and get about the colors of skin we could all bleed red writing Wellfleet red Jesus blood blood red when he died on the cross and it and so I'm excited for you guys. Derek again the name of the book one more time is welded forming racial bonds that lastly, you can go to Amazon today ordered the book now preorder the book I'm telling you is going to bless your life do us a favor only order yourself a book order yourself a book for someone of a different ethnicity from you as someone inside of their lives. I promise you, you are in a maybe the post a book review rank absolutely publicly you end up dead. You guys just finished an audio version of it they thought about that. Those America got only one thought Malik says that it is -70 audiobook releases at the same time along with you. Version 7 day Bible reading plan and a small group curriculum.
Yet we we finished recording the audiobook yesterday. That was interesting, but it's gonna be powerful as well. Now that's awesome and and really for all the listeners out there.
If you're in Greensboro all Salisbury North Carolina Concorde Kannapolis I really encourage you don't have a home church visit the refuge and I assure you, you walk in, you'll feel at home. The minute you walk in through the doors and course estimate was mentioned campuses in Brazil and West Africa on it and just check out the refuge.net that's the website and where you can check out check out the refuge and get more information Inc. guys so great to have you and the student. I noticed the time just kind of flies met. I am excited yet thank you Nikita. Such a joy man. Thank you for the opportunity were excited about what God is doing absolutely Derek glassware and I love you so much man cannot even imagine the way that you've impacted my life by your example meso.
Thank you for this opportunity may not honor who you are in the kingdom of God.
Well I can tell both of you and it unashamedly into all of our listeners love the two of you a love your hearts and just what you're doing in and through this book and in that project and you and I can't wait to hear what believing were praying and believing writing close you were praying and believing for a million copies to be sold out there in the marketplace. A million copies and were looking forward to seeing a major, major racial reconciliation through this broad public support, love you guys men I would like to challenge each of you to consider spending five days with less liver and I am pursuing the heart of ladies you're listening. Will send your manhole with God godly husband's and God will see you give them your blessing and am sign up today at band camp.full pastor. If you would like to bring Holland for Christ ministries and man up conference to your community protocol off.org and email me remember this.
It's time to man up. This is the Truth Network