AN INTERVIEW WITH THE REV. G.P. HATFIELD
PASTOR, CHURCH OF THE ENLIGHTENMENT
Conducted by Assistant Pastor Jack O' Reily
August 20, 2003

Rev. O' Reily: WHAT CAUSED YOU TO BEGIN YOUR MINISTRY ?

Rev. Hatfield: AS A YOUNG MAN I LIVED AN UNHOLY LIFE, AND AS I GREW INTO ADULTHOOD, I FELT A NEED TO RID MYSELF OF THE DEMONS WHICH HAD DRIVEN ME TO MY SINFUL WAYS. SINCE I HAD SUCH EXTENSIVE KNOWLEDGE OF SIN AND THE WAYS OF SINNERS, IT OCCURRED TO ME THAT I MIGHT BE ABLE TO HELP THOSE WHO HAVE FALLEN BY THE WAYSIDE; THAT THROUGH MY EXPERIENCES, I MIGHT BE ABLE TO LIFT THEM UP AND DELIVER THEM TO ETERNAL SALVATION. THAT BECAME MY MISSION AND REMAINS MY MISSION.

Rev. O' Reily: HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU SPEND EACH DAY ON YOUR MINISTRY?

Rev. Hatfield: VIRTUALLY EVERY WAKING HOUR. SAVING SOULS IS THE FIRST THING I THINK OF EACH DAY AND THE LAST THING I THINK OF EACH NIGHT. ALONG THE WAY, I'VE BEEN BLESSED TO ASSEMBLE AN ENTHUSIASTIC AND DEDICATED STAFF, AND THEY HAVE BEEN OF ENORMOUS HELP TO ME. MY ASSISTANT PASTOR, THE ESTEEMED REV. HATFIELD, WORKS PRIMARILY WITH THE YOUNG CHILDREN IN OUR FLOCK. HE SEEMS TO HAVE A SPECIAL GIFT WITH THEM. WE HAVE OTHER COUNSELORS WHO DEAL WITH SPECIFIC AREAS: ONE FOR FAMILY COUNSELING, ANOTHER FOR DEPENDENCY PROBLEMS, AND THE FACT IS THAT OVERSEEING THIS STAFF WHILE MINISTERING TO MEMBERS OF MY CONGREGATION MYSELF IS LITERALLY A 7-DAY-A-WEEK TASK.

Rev. O' Reily: I NOTICE YOU DIDN'T SAY "A 7-DAY-A-WEEK JOB ". WHY IS THAT ?

Rev. Hatfield: I'VE NEVER CONSIDERED MY WORK TO BE "A JOB". IT'S MY CALLING. IT IS WHAT I BELIEVE I WAS PLACED ON THIS EARTH TO DO.



"IN THE WORDS OF THE LATE, GREAT DAVID RUFFIN,
'I AINíT TOO PROUD TO BEG, SWEET DARLIN'!"



Rev. O' Reily: WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER TO BE THE MOST CHALLENGING PART OF YOUR WORK ?

Rev. Hatfield: IT'S ALL VERY CHALLENGING, BUT THE ONE UP-HILL CLIMB THAT I FIND TO BE THE MOST GRUELING IS THE NEVER-ENDING EFFORT TO IMPRESS ON MY FLOCK THE NEED FOR CONSTANCY. THE ROAD TO SALVATION IS A VERY LONG ONE. IT CAN NOT BE TRAVELED IN JUST ONE DAY, OR ONE YEAR, OR EVEN ONE DECADE. IT TAKES A LIFETIME. EVERY MINUTE OF EVERY DAY. IT'S A FULL TIME COMMITMENT, AND THAT'S MORE THAN MOST PEOPLE ARE WILLING TO MAKE, BUT IT IS "THE ONLY WAY."

Rev. O' Reily: HOW HAVE YOU BEEN ABLE TO MAINTAIN YOUR MINISTRY SO MANY YEARS?

Rev. Hatfield: CERTAINLY IT HASN'T BEEN EASY. IT'S TAKEN A LOT OF WORK BY A LOT OF PEOPLE. MOST OF THE TIME WE OPERATE JUST ABOVE THE BREAK-EVEN POINT. WE SIMPLY COULD NOT GO ON WITHOUT THE STAUNCH SUPPORT OF OUR PRAYER PARTNERS. THEY ARE THE ONES WHO KEEP THIS MINISTRY ALIVE. THEY ARE THE ONES WHO KEEP THE MESSAGE COMING FORTH. WE NEED EVERY DOLLAR OF SUPPORT WE CAN RAISE, AND IN THE WORDS OF THE LATE, GREAT DAVID RUFFIN, "I AINíT TOO PROUD TO BEG, SWEET DARLIN'."

Rev. O' Reily: THAT'S A BEAUTIFUL SENTIMENT, REV. BUREN. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR TIME AND CONSIDERATION.

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