A Pastor’s Journey of Faith and Ministry
Growing up without a connection to the church, Grayson Smith’s life took a significant turn when he encountered the Gospel at the age of 16.
It all began when Grayson’s parents received an invitation to attend a larger church in Columbia. Eventually, they brought Grayson and his brother along. Little did Grayson know that this visit would mark a significant turning point in his life.
During that first visit, Grayson heard the Gospel message for the first time, discovering who Jesus was and what He had done. This newfound knowledge sparked a desire within him to learn more. Over the course of a year, Grayson continued attending church services, gradually immersing himself in the message of the Gospel.
Answering the Call
At the age of 17, after a year of hearing the Gospel preached, Grayson made a life-changing decision. It was during a youth program at the church when he heard a message emphasizing Jesus’ call to follow Him out of His love, grace, and mercy. Moved by the Holy Spirit, Grayson made the decision to follow Jesus and surrendered his life to Him.
“That night, sitting in that church, I just remember the Lord speaking to me and saying, ‘You’re going to preach my Word,'” Grayson said. He moved to Spartanburg to attend Spartanburg Methodist College, where he fell in love with studying the Bible and deepening his faith. He also actively served in his local church, surrounding himself with like-minded individuals and mentors who helped shape his spiritual journey.
Transitioning to Church Planting
After several years of serving in a church, Grayson met his future wife. Together, they transitioned into serving on a church plant team, joining a core team dedicated to planting a church called Impact Drayton. It was during this time that Grayson encountered a pastor named Ricky from Impact Community Church, who played a pivotal role in Grayson’s journey towards ministry.
Ricky approached Grayson and his wife, expressing his belief that they were meant to be part of the church plant team. Despite initial hesitation, Grayson and his wife realized that this was the path God had laid before them. “We felt like, we know this is what we’re supposed to do. This is what the Lord is leading us to,” Grayson said.
As Grayson grew closer to Ricky and the church community, he began to share his desire to serve in ministry. Grayson had felt a calling to ministry since his teenage years, but he had never received the opportunity to fully embrace it. Ricky took him under his wing, mentoring him and guiding him through Scripture.
Preparing to Pastor
Over the course of five years, Ricky intentionally prepared Grayson to step into a pastoral role of what is now ID Clifton. As their relationship grew, they explored topics such as church planting and the responsibilities of shepherding a congregation. Through this process, Grayson sensed that God was calling him to step up and shepherd the church community they had become a part of.
With a humble heart and a deep trust in God’s leading, Grayson approached Ricky with his newfound conviction. He expressed his willingness to shepherd the church, despite not fully comprehending the reasons behind this calling. Ricky affirmed Grayson’s call and shared the details of the plan that had been unfolding.
Following God’s Calling
In the past year, Grayson has wholeheartedly embraced his role as lead pastor at ID Clifton. He has navigated the challenges of shepherding a congregation, honing his skills in preaching, and continually learning how to pastor a church effectively. “My story is an interesting story. Not knowing anything about the Bible to preaching it on a Sunday,” Grayson said.
Grayson’s story is a powerful example of how God can take someone from a place of spiritual unfamiliarity and lead them to a life devoted to ministry. “I am so thankful for the way that the Lord has walked with me through it all,” he said.