MY JOURNEY SINCE LEAVING THE SEMINARY
My name is Devon Dixon. I am the Senior Pastor of Eastchester Church of God located in Bronx, New York and am a former graduate of the Pentecostal Theological Seminary.
Attending PTS was quite an experience for me and since I graduated seminary in 2012 the experience has become even more fulfilling and rewarding. Has ministry life gotten any easier since? Certainly not! It has become even more challenging. But I believe my seminary training has allowed me to face the challenges of doing ministry today with more confidence in the affirmation of my calling and the preparation I received.
Before my seminary experience I was tentative as a pastor in leading the church I currently serve. I saw the need then, to sharpen my ministry tools so that I could lead an effective church into the future that clearly understood it’s mission. My goals were also about staying relevant within a 21st century ministry context, and transitioning from a church that was predominantly of Caribbean ethnicity, to a more diverse culture that reflects the geographical location where I serve. These were my pre-seminary goals.
One thing that stood out during my time at PTS was how essential “being” was by far greater than “doing”, although both are necessary in ministry. The seminary has helped me to understand that my most important priority is to minister before the Lord first.
My post PTS experience is this: the task of staying relevant is still daunting but I see where my training has given me the confidence to always stay abreast as a leader while staying on my knees through the spiritual disciplines. I have witnessed the church grow wider and deeper; as well as seeing more clearly its mission as God’s ambassador in the world with the message of reconciliation. Is there still more work to do? Sure there is, but my seminary journey has given me a richer voice to articulate that vision.
Since leaving PTS I have also seen the slow wheels of change moving within the ethnic makeup of our congregation as God continues to add people of different ethnicity to our church. Although, our congregation is still predominantly Caribbean, I have witnessed more Hispanics, African Americans, Nigerians, Cameroonians, and Caucasians worshiping in our congregation. Please continue to pray for us as we seek to fulfill God’s mandate of reaching the people he loved and laid down his life for “…with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.” (Rev 5:9).