MOORESVILLE – When Rob Spradley was young, he died for several minutes.
He said he was brought back to life when a pastor came to pray over him at his parents’ home.
From that point on, Spradley said he knew he was meant to serve God as a pastor. And, for most of his life, he’s been doing just that.
Mooresville Citizen: What circumstance/experience led you into becoming a faith leader?
Rob Spradley: I was a young child when I realized that there was a call of God on my life to become a pastor. What led to that was numerous things. I was brought up in a Christian home exposed to the Christian faith early. More personally, when I was 2 or 3 years old, I contracted scarlet fever. And in those days it was very serious. We lived out in the country, and I experienced convulsions and I died in my mother’s arms. They sent for the local pastor, and he came and prayed for me, and I came back to life. And the pastor spoke over me and said, “I believe God has a plan for this young boy’s life.” From that point on, I sensed there was a call of God and had a sense of calling to be involved in the church, especially as a pastor.
MC: How does Mooresville fit in line with your faith mission?
RS: We have ministered in North Carolina for quite a number of years. We came to North Carolina in 1980 and planted a church in Raleigh in 1984. We were there for 15-plus years. In 2002 l planted another church in Greensboro. And then in 2011 we received a phone call from our church leadership of this local church inviting us to come and be the lead pastors of the church. The church today is 65 years old, but at that time when they called me back the church had gone through a lot. Most members were elderly, and they asked me to come to be a part of a revitalization effort of the church. So that was June 1, 2011. We've been here ever since. (We) love the people, love the area. Mooresville is a great area to be and to live in, and it has really down-to-earth kind of people to love.
MC: What is the most rewarding part of your job?
RS: Being with people and being a part of their lives. Being a pastor is so much more than speaking. It’s more than that. It’s about building relationships with people, and you celebrate with their victories and weep with their tragedies. Over the course of my ministry, I have performed countless weddings and funerals. You get the gambit of emotions with people and their victories and challenges. That’s the most rewarding part of the job.
MC: What is the most trying part of your job?
RS: The most challenging part is also the most rewarding part, and it’s people. We’re all unique, and we’re all wired differently. I believe from a spiritual standpoint the best thing is to be sensitive and discerning about where they’re coming from and what they experienced. I want to share the good news of Christ with everyone in a way that connects with them based on the journey they have been traveling. That's what I pray for every day.
MC: What are some of the things the faith community, at large, is struggling with?
RS: There are a number of things we are dealing with socially, that we’re dealing with culturally. We could speak to those areas, but it goes back to the teachings of Jesus. If we do as Jesus taught, the majority of issues should take care of themselves. When he talks about loving our brothers and sisters as we love ourselves. If we love our neighbors, we behave in a certain way. We behave a different way. It’s about walking the walk instead of just talking the talk of Christ. We have to follow his teachings. That in and of itself would change a lot.
MC: What is your favorite or most-turned-to verse or part of scripture? Why?
RS: I have a lot of favorites, but my most favorite is John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” The fact that God loves us, and he’s not mad at us. His desire is that everyone would come to that knowledge. ... I love to talk about God's love. God is with us to help us, not to hurt us.