Her faith journey has varied over the years, yet she continues moving as a servant of the people with a deep faith in God.Pastor Debra D. Givens is a singer, teacher, and calls herself a warrior and true servant of God. Last week, she shared with me her desire to bring the Word to people young or old and welcome them back to the church.
This is Pastor Debra’s faith story:
“I was 7 years old and I remember my mother lining all seven of her children on a church pew, and I was mesmerized by all the singing and praying.
“I think it would be fair to say I grew up in church, where I found myself directing the choir, singing and really involved in church. But I wanted to try to have a life outside of the church. I partied and while my friends were popping their fingers, I was clapping my hands. But I wasn’t comfortable in that life and knew I needed to make a change.”
Givens changed her life at the age of 23 and has never strayed from her goal to serve God’s people and especially help women.
“That walk down the middle aisle of the church was one of the longest and best walks I have ever taken,” Givens said. “Once I gave myself to God there was no turning back. I was going to make a difference. I heard a voice say, ‘You are going to be someone significant to others.’”
That difference and vision would be harder to achieve than she thought. Her heartfelt desire to evangelize to people would take some hard knocks and more hard work.
“When I met my husband, Pastor Dennis, we were so blessed because he and I were like minds,” she said. “He started our church New Horizon’s Outreach Ministry in 1991, and I am the co-pastor. But it has been hard work getting people to come to church. At times, I felt like Harriet Tubman. I had to go underground at reach out to the people. Still today, if I see someone on the street, I will stop and offer them whatever I can give at that moment. My life is wonderfully hard. But I truly believe God is my Father, Jesus is Lord and Savior and the Holy Spirit is my guide and strength. I have always felt I had something extra special to offer, and if God chose to use this vessel, I was willing to give it my best.”
Her husband agrees.
“She is my queen who is very passionate about her work,” said Pastor Dennis. “She is always working to help any and everybody she can. We started the first church in an apartment with seven people. After renting a few buildings, we built this ministry which consists of a church, child care center and more. We are all about hospitality and any and everyone is welcome to come and join us.”
Pastor Debra said she hopes the intensive delivery of her message helps lead those who hear it to a deeper appreciation for, and a more profound understanding of, the Word of God.