About Kent

My story begins January 28, 1957, when I was born to two wonderful parents, Allen and Nell Spann, in Memphis, Tennessee. They were both actively involved at the Whitehaven Baptist Church in Whitehaven, Tennessee, where my father was a deacon in the church and my mom served as the secretary to the pastor. Another significant influence on my early development was my grandmother who was a wonderful, godly Christian.

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I Believe God is the Creator and Sovereign Ruler of the universe. He has eternally existed in three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are co-equal and are one God. (Genesis 1:1, 26, 27, 3:22; Psalm 90:2; Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13; 1 Peter 1:2)

 I Believe Jesus Christ is the perfect Son of God being co-equal with the Father. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and thus was born sinless. Having lived a sinless human life, He offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of people by dying on a cross. He arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over sin and death. He ascended to Heaven’s glory and will visibly return again someday to earth to reign as King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. (Isaiah 9:6; Matthew 1:22, 23; Luke 1:29-37; John 1:1-5; 14:10-30; Acts 1:9-11; Romans 1:3, 4; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; 1 Timothy 6:14, 15; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 4:14, 15)

I Believe the Holy Spirit is a divine person being co-equal with the Father and the Son of God. He is present in the world to convict men of their sin and their need for Jesus Christ. He dwells in every Christian from the moment of salvation, providing the Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is right. He gives every believer a spiritual gift when he or she is saved. As Christians, we seek to live under His control daily. (John 16:7-13, 14:16,17; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 2:12, 3:16; 2 Corinthians 3:17; Galatians 5:25; Ephesians 1:13; 5:18)

I Believe the Bible is God’s Word to us. Human authors, under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit, wrote it. It is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living. Because it is inspired by God, it is the truth without any mixture of error for its matter, and therefore it is totally true and trustworthy. It is the infallible rule of faith and practice. (Psalms 19:7-11; 119:105, 160; Proverbs 30:5; Luke 21:33; 2 Timothy 1:13; 3:16; 1 Peter 2:2; 2 Peter 1:20, 21)

I Believe all people are made in the image of God being the supreme object of God’s creation. Man lost his innocence when Adam disobeyed God. This state of disobedience called sin separates people from God and causes many problems in life. All people are born with a depraved sin nature and thus under the penalty of sin, incurring the wrath of God. (Genesis 1:27; 3:1-24; Psalms 8:3-6; 51:3-5; Isaiah 53:6a; 59:1, 2; Romans 3:23; Eph. 2:1-3)

I Believe Salvation is God’s free gift to us being a work of grace. People must accept this free gift of salvation. No person can earn or deserve salvation no matter the extent of self-improvement or good works. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God’s offer of forgiveness can anyone be saved from sin’s penalty. When an individual turns from his or her self-ruled life and turns to Jesus in faith, he or she is saved. Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his life by faith. (Isa. 64:6; John 1:12; 14:6; Romans 3:9-20; 5:1; 6:23; Galatians 3:26; Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5)
I Believe in Eternal Security because the true believer is kept and maintained by the grace and power of God, not by the self-effort of the Christian. If a person has been genuinely saved, he or she cannot “lose” that salvation; he or she is secure in Christ forever. (John 5:24; 10:29; 2 Timothy 1:12; Hebrews 7:25, 10:10, 14; 1 Peter 1:3-5; Jude 24)

I Believe Heaven and Hell are real places. People were created to exist forever. They will either exist eternally separated from God by sin, or eternally with God through forgiveness and salvation. To be eternally separated from God is to face the wrath of God in Hell. To be eternally in union with Him is eternal life. (John 3:16; 14:1-7; Romans 6:23; 8:17-18; 1 Cor. 2:7-9; 2 Thess. 1:5-10; Revelation 20:15)

I Believe the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ is an autonomous local congregation of baptized believers operating under the Lordship of Christ. The purposes of the church are clearly defined by her Founder and Head Jesus Christ. The two ordinances given to the church are baptism by immersion and the Lord’s Supper. They are symbolic and have no saving power. (Matthew 3:13-17; 16:15-19; 22:37-40; 26:26-30; 28:19-20; Acts 2:41-47; Romans 6:3-5; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 10: 16, 21; 11:23-29; Ephesians 1:22-23; 2:19-22; Colossians 1:15-20; 2:12)

A philosophy of ministry defines the “what” and “why” of ministry. In the case of the minister it defines what he believes about ministry and how he will carry it out. The following provides a brief overview of the biblical foundation and passion of my philosophy of ministry.

My philosophy of ministry succinctly stated is to equip believers and engage unbelievers with the truth of God’s Word. I want to equip believers to fulfill their life mission and to go deeper in their walk with Christ through dynamic, relevant biblical messages, solid pastoral ministry and personal mentoring. I want to engage unbelievers by leading a church to share the unchanging message of the gospel in clear and relevant ways that engage the unsaved in a gospel conversation, answers key questions, spotlights the truth of God’s Word on life and culture, and presents a thoroughly biblical worldview. I want to engage unbelievers by leading a church to show the unchanging message of the gospel through the purity of their lives, the sincerity of their faith, the love of their Savior, and the practice of their good works.

My philosophy of ministry is based on four biblical foundations – God, the Scripture, the Gospel and the Church.

GOD

From the beginning and to the end God is the center of everything. The danger in today’s society and even in the church, is the failure to hold a high view of God. A false view of God leads to idolatry, toleration of sin and the exaltation of man. At its core, sin is the dethronement of God by those who were created to exalt and to serve Him (Isa. 14:12-15). On the other hand, when there is a high view of God, God is the center of worship, sin is revealed, holiness is practiced, and people are called out to serve (Isa. 6:1-6).

My passion in ministry is to lead a congregation in the genuine worship of God in spirit and truth (John 4:24). My goal as a pastor will be to make sure everything the congregation does focuses on God, brings glory and honor to Christ and is done in the power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8; 1 Cor. 10:31; Eph. 3:21). I will work very closely with the Worship Leader to produce carefully planned, well prepared, Spirit-led services that lead people into God’s presence through worship.

THE SCRIPTURE

My philosophy of ministry is firmly anchored in sola scriptura which was the rally cry of the Protestant Reformation. Sola Scriptura means that Scripture alone is authoritative for the faith and practice of the Church and the Christian. The Scriptures are sufficient (Deut. 4:2; 12:32; Rev. 22:18, 19), inspired (2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21), inerrant (Ps. 12:6: 11:7; 119:89, 96; Prov. 30:5; Matt. 5:18), timelessness (Ps. 19:7-11; Isa. 40:8; Mark 13:31; Heb. 4:12; 1 Peter 1:25) and authoritative (Matt. 7:24-27; 22:29; John 14:21-24; 1 Thess. 2:13; James 1:22-25; 1 John 2:3).

My passion in ministry is to lead a congregation to be a thoroughly biblical congregation. That means I will uphold the Bible as the final authority for the faith and practice of the church. I will place a high priority on the preparation and presentation of biblical messages that equip believers and engage unbelievers. I will champion small groups (Sunday School, home groups, etc.) as a key means of teaching and applying God’s Word.

THE GOSPEL

The gospel is the power of God for salvation to all who believe (Rom. 1:16).   It is not one among many ways but is the only way to salvation (John 14:6; Acts 4:12). The church has been given the marvelous message and ministry of reconciliation through Christ (2 Cor. 5:18-20), therefore we must go into all the world and preach the gospel (Matt. 28:19, 20; Acts 1:8).

My passion in ministry is to lead a church to be an Acts 1:8 church fulfilling the Great Commission to make disciples (Matt. 28:19-20). My goal is to help a church discover the unique, God-gifted, creative ways of reaching her community and world with the gospel of Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 9:19-23). I will lead a congregation to disciple new and not so new believers, so each becomes a fully devoted follower of Christ. Missions, personal evangelism and servant evangelism are a central part of my strategy.

THE CHURCH

I believe in the importance of the church, because God the Father loves her (John 3:16; Acts 20:28; Rom. 5:8,-10), God the Son died for her (Acts 20:28; Eph. 5:25) and God the Spirit birthed her (Acts 2:1-4). I believe the Church is universal and invisible, being made up of all who are truly saved (Matt. 16:16-18; John 3:3, 5; Acts 2:38, 39). I also believe the church is local and visible (Acts 2:47; Rom. 16:1, 5; 1 Cor. 1:2; 1 Thess. 1:1; Philemon 2; Rev. 2:1, 8, 12, 18; 3:1, 7, 14). The purposes of the church have been clearly defined by the Head of the Church, Jesus Christ (Matt. 22:37-40; 28:19, 20; Col. 1:18). I believe caring, godly, qualified leadership is the key to a healthy, God-honoring, and growing congregation (Acts 6:4; 1 Tim. 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-16).

My passion in ministry is to build a strong, healthy, vibrant, purpose-driven, New Testament church under the Lordship of Christ and in the power of the Holy Spirit. I believe this will result in Kingdom (Acts 1:8), spiritual (Col. 1:24-29), numerical (Acts 2:41-47) and ministry (Eph. 2:10) growth. I will unapologetically invite people to make a commitment to church membership. My model for ministry is gifted leadership equipping gifted membership to carry out gifted service to the glory of the gift giver (Eph. 4:11-16). My passion is to see the church be the place where ministry is birthed in the hearts of the people. All this can be accomplished through strong biblical preaching and teaching, intentional discipleship and mentoring, practical equipping and training, compassionate and caring pastoral ministry, and streamlined organization and policy.

IN CONCLUSION

  • My goal is to honor Christ so that His Kingdom advances and to finish well in the race He sets before me.

  • My passion is to equip believers and engage unbelievers with the truth of God’s Word.

  • My heart is to love God and those He calls me to serve.

  • My desire is to lead a local church to discover and fulfill God’s unique mission in her community and world.  

  • My priorities are God, family and then the church.

  • My spiritual gifting is preaching and teaching.

  • My ministry values are relevance, preaching, church growth, equipping, God-honoring organization, evangelism, Spirit-led planning, worship and teamwork.

  • My personal values are family, personal time, excellence, stewardship, growth, godliness, character, balance, prayer and physical fitness.