I was called to preach in 1976 when I was 18 years old. This was also the year my wife Terri and I were married. I was involved in a church outside Knoxville, TN. There was a dynamic group of young adults there who I saw real faith in. They loved God with all their heart and that love was truly contagious. I knew I had to have what they had. I had actually accepted Jesus many years before this, but I was like so many other people. I was happy to know I was going to heaven when I die. I had no idea God wanted to have my life while I'm alive. My life was revolutionized by Jesus. I wanted to serve God with all my heart which set me up to hear His call. I immediately began to preach in church as often as I could. I then started to go to other places and preach. I was busy preaching from place to place and growing in my relationship to the Lord. God started a fire in me then that has carried me through all these years to see others come to know Him in a real life changing way. The mundane life of religion never satisfied me. I was licensed and ordained into the ministry that same year in 1976 by The Smith Grove Baptist Church in Harden Valley, TN.
For the next 10 years I was preaching and serving God in His church. I taught classes, ministered to children and youth, and ministered in nursing homes and hospitals. I preached in the local rescue mission to crowds of indigent and homeless people. God blessed and many received Jesus as their Savior. In 1986 at the age of 28, Terri and I literally sold everything we had, quit our jobs, pulled up stakes and moved ourselves and our two young children from Knoxville, TN to Pineville, KY to begin school at Clear Creek Baptist Bible College. Terri went to school with me, class for class, for the first two years. She then went to work on campus so I could continue school full time. We started school in January of 1986. By March of that same year I was pastoring my first church which was Pine Grove Baptist Church in a little Appalachian Community called Hutch, KY. This church had been closed for months due to disunity in the church. We reopened it with the help of one elderly gentleman who had kept going to the church every week to keep the doors opened. He would turn the lights and heat on and pay the bills himself so his church would be available in case someone came. We immediately began visiting people in the neighborhood, and we started services on Easter Sunday in 1986 with a house full of people. We had a great ministry. We had our first convert, Glenn Miracle, who I baptized in a public swimming area that was called “Devil’s Garden”. Somehow I’ve never gotten over the irony that my very first baptism was in the Devil’s Garden. We saw many others come to know Jesus during this ministry.
Terri and I graduated from Clear Creek in May of 1990. We went to serve and pastor a church in Waynesburg, KY. Once again we were blessed with many souls for our labor and the church was blessed in many ways. We left there and went back to the Pineville, KY area where we served at Riverside Baptist Church. In 1992 I felt God wanted me to further my education. We moved from KY to Wake Forrest, NC where I began work on my Masters in Christian Education at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and graduated in 1995. While we were in NC, I was a full time pastor at Knott's Grove Baptist Church in Oxford, NC. God used us in great ways in that ministry.
We've moved many times and served God in many ways. I have been to Nigeria on a preaching mission where thousands came to know Jesus. I have been to Jamaica 7 times where I ministered in multiple churches. I served as a full time evangelist for 4 years. We were called to a Baptist Church in Huntsville, AL in 2002 where we had a wonderful ministry. In all these ministries I felt we were missing something in the established churches where I was serving. I felt in so many ways the church had gotten stagnant in their approach to ministry. The Great Commission for the most part wasn’t being carried out. The church had gotten inward, wasn’t making a difference in lives and was too concerned about protecting their own and their traditions that had built up over many years. This frustrated me. I was trying to find that place that was truly making a difference in lives and building the Kingdom of God which is why I believe we moved so many times. The churches that were making a real impact already had a long term pastor. The churches we pastored were usually looking for a pastor every 2 to 4 years.
When we came to Huntsville we felt God wanted us to stay here and build a long term ministry. We stayed in the church we were in from 2002 to 2008. This ministry too was failing because it was lacking in the area of reaching out to new people and people of other cultures, and the congregation was literally dying of old age. God called us out of that church to begin a new ministry that we are in right now called The Harvest. We started this great ministry on August 17, 2008, with the aim to be a genuine church that takes the Great Commission seriously and personally. We want to make a personal difference in every life that comes through our doors. Whether you are with us one week or your lifetime, we aim to impact you with the wonderful things God has for you and help you know Jesus Christ as Savior, understand Him as the Lord who Loves you and Plans for your Good and Success!
When we started The Harvest we knew we were making a commitment to God for the rest of our lives. We have been in existence now at this writing for almost 11 years. We started this ministry in houses. Then we moved to a restaurant in Huntsville, AL. Our next move was to a building in Toney, AL where we knew God wanted us to plant this church. We grew out of that location and moved to another building in Toney, AL on Hwy 53. In the spring of 2013, we took a mighty step of faith and purchased the property where we are currently located, 7531 Hwy 53, Toney, AL. This location is where we intend to flourish and develop our thriving ministry to make the God difference in people's lives.
Only the Lord knows what He has in store for this ministry. We intend to find out step-by-step, day-by-day, person-by-person. Bring your family and join us. Add yourself to this wonderful journey of faith. Let's build God's Kingdom together and give God what we call at The Harvest “A Glory Story”. See you Sunday!
Yours in Christ,
Pastors CW and Terri Turner