In Profile: Pastor David Hughes of Church by the Glades

Pastor David Hughes
Birthplace: Born in Charleston, West Virginia; lived in South Florida since the age of 3
Job Title: Lead Pastor at Church by the Glades

How and when did you come to know the Lord?
I came to know Christ at the age of nine, at an RA Camp – similar to a Baptist Boy Scouts – in the Central Florida area.

How and when did you become involved in Life ?
I grew up attending Sheridan Hills Baptist Church where I began volunteering and working with students. I was surprised to find that I was wired and gifted for Life . I sensed a vocational call on my life, but I was convinced that I would never be a senior pastor.

What is your church doing that is exciting or unique?
We are highly passionate and intentional about building bridges with the un-churched culture to connect a broken world to the gospel.

What is the best part of your job?
I love seeing someone bow the knee to the King. We are blessed at Church by the Glades to see a lot of people saved; I am “addicted” to that.

What is the most difficult part of your job?
To be dead honest, it is dealing with the financial pressure of leading a growing church , comprised of new believers and young families in this present economic environment.
If you were not doing what you are currently doing, what would you like to be doing?
I was an actor/model before becoming a pastor. I guess I would be acting again. I am competitive.  I enjoyed walking into a casting office with 50 other men that looked like my long lost brothers knowing only one man would be walking out with the gig.

Do you have a favorite quote or motto?
Indiana Jones, in the first movie, when one of his friends says, “Indie, what will you do now?” Indiana Jones replies, “I don’t know, I am making this up as I go.”

What is your favorite bible verse or area of scripture and why?
Joshua 1:6-9; It is a great word of encouragement for men to live life “strong and courageous”.
“Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them. 7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do. 8 Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. 9 This is my command–be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (NVL)(NLV)

Besides God, who has been the most influential person in your life?
It is a long list: Dan Sutherland, Dr. Roy Fish, Bill and Betty Jean Billingsly; but I have to say the most influential person has to be my dad – he is a rock solid, blue collar, loves God, do anything for his family type of guy.

What is your favorite way to relax?
To chase big fish with my fly rod.

What is the last book you read (besides the Bible) and what did you think of it?
I am not a very big reader; I have two books I am working on right now – Bill Cornelius’ I Dare You to Change and Steven Furtick’s Sun Stand Still.

 What is the most interesting place you have visited and why?
East Africa – It is romantic, wild and much of it is unspoiled…and it also has an amazing  church.

What encourages you the most/ frustrates you the most about Christians in our society?
As far as encouraging, there is a great climate of encouragement and sharing among church leaders in this generation. I have a network of colleagues and friends who are pastors who pour so much into my life. In terms of what frustrates me, it is the criticism and arrogance among believers and the lack of tolerance for churches executing the great commission with different methodologies. I am cool with someone preferring a different style or method of Life because it’s not their preference. I have a real problem with someone labeling any Bible-based church as illegitimate because the presentation doesn’t fit their personal taste. Sadly, I have found there are some angry, mean Christians out there.

What is something that God has been teaching you lately?
To be patient and to pray for angry, mean Christians.

Tell us something about your family and/or about yourself that most people do not know.
My second favorite thing to do is to watch iCarly with my ten-year- old, Charlie, my nine- year- old Victoria and my one- year- old, Zane.

Church by the Glades is known as an out-of-the-box type church. Do you consider yourself an out-of-the-box kind of guy? Why or why not?
 Church by the Glades is known for being hyper-creative and I do think that I am a creative person –  and that fits. Church by the Glades is also occasionally labeled as a church that pushes the envelope or stirs things up. Personanally, I hate to be provocative or intentionally controversial. At the same time, the Bible can be provocative and highly controversial. The stakes are so high- , literally heaven or hell- , and I just don’t think that we can afford to play it safe.

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