A Joy WIthout Regret
In our search to truly know the Creator and Sustainer of all things, only God satisfies our deepest desires. Through a personal relationship with Him, we come to understand that His love, grace, and mercy never fail. For Pastor Mike Andrews, being surrounded by man’s religion from an early age just wasn’t enough…he knew there had to be another way.
A Stark Difference
Mike was not raised in a devoutly Christian home, but various religious perspectives were scattered throughout his childhood in Charlotte, North Carolina. “When we did go to church, I remember being taught that ‘being a good boy’ and ‘God grading on the curve’ paved the path to heaven,” Mike sadly recalls. Even as a young child and into his teenage years, that way of thinking just did not satisfy Mike.
“Before I went off to college, there was this lingering pain within my soul. I owned a Bible for a long time but had never really read it,” remembers Mike. As a freshman at the University of North Carolina, Mike was exposed to Gospel truths for the first time. Reflecting on those early impressions, he says, “I got invited to a Bible study where participants were going through the Gospel of John; I saw the biblical Jesus for the first time.” When the group got to the third chapter of John, Mike realized he was not a Christian. “I started to like and grew to love the person of Jesus—how He was gentle with sinners and didn’t shy aware from challenging hypocrites. I knew I wasn’t saved but didn’t know how I could be.”
“I got invited to a Bible study where participants were going through the Gospel of John; I saw the biblical Jesus for the first time.”
Another event also greatly impacted Mike’s spiritual journey. Cliffe, an apologist, came to speak on campus one day. A student in attendance kept cussing at him out loud as he spoke. Cliffe calmly said, “Friend, you don’t have to do that.” Mike saw in Cliffe’s life what he was looking for and remembers Cliffe teaching Jesus Christ became sin for us on the cross. At that point, Mike understood what it meant to be a follower of Jesus Christ.
Discovering God’s Call
God used a college Bible study, an apologist, and His Word to draw Mike toward Himself. Two weeks later, in Mike’s dorm room, he accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior.
Soon after, he saw an older man in a suit and tie on campus, who he later learned was a Gideon. The man offered Mike a Testament featuring the Gideon emblem on the cover. “This was a huge encouragement to me as a new believer. The copy of God’s Word he gave me ended up finding a home in my back pocket. I used it until it completely fell apart,” recalls Mike.
A couple of years later, Mike participated in an evangelism event with an organization called Campus Crusade for Christ. At just 20 years old, he traveled to Daytona Beach and shared Jesus alongside his college peers. “I found joy telling people about Jesus—a joy without regret,” he says. Mike was beginning to discover his calling and experience what God had for his life.
Mike continued studying the Word daily. At the same time, he began to work as a resident assistant on campus. He noticed Sharon, a fellow resident assistant who also loved the Lord, and they decided to start a Bible study for their residents. Through this experience, Mike saw her passion and heart for the Lord. The couple fell in love and married in 1992.
“I found joy telling people about Jesus—a joy without regret.”
Sensing the Lord’s call on their life, they attended a small Bible school in New York, which God used to strengthen their marriage through His Word. This passion for the Scriptures led them to Dallas Theological Seminary in Texas a couple of years later. Mike received his Master of Theology. “I studied hermeneutics, original languages, and grew in my handling of the Word. But mostly, I grew in grace,” says Mike.
Passionately Loving God and Making Disciples
In 1998, the Lord called the Andrews family to serve a church in Houston, Texas. They stayed there for 18 years—ten years working with the youth ministry and then eight years in an associate pastor role for the adult ministry. Mike is grateful for his time in Houston. God used this season to continue to grow him as a disciple and as a minister of the Gospel. God moved the Andrews family to the small, agricultural community of Camden, Delaware, in March 2016. Since then, Mike has served as senior pastor of Faith Community Church—a 60-year-old congregation whose mission is to passionately love God, sacrificially love others, and courageously make disciples of Jesus Christ.
During his time at Faith Community Church, Mike was once again connected with the work and ministry of The Gideons International. Members from two different camps are part of his congregation. He says, “When I find men and women in my church serve as Gideons and Auxiliary, I’m so encouraged because I know I have a strong partner in ministry.” Pastor Mike and Faith Community Church partner with The Gideons in many different ways. The church gives its students copies of The Life Book to share with their peers. The congregation also financially supports the Association so the Word can continue to be spread around the world. Each year, they invite Gideons to share with the congregation how God is using Gideons and Auxiliary worldwide, along with vital church partnerships, to win others to the Lord Jesus.
“Every time I see the Gideon emblem, I go back to when I was a baby believer on the University of North Carolina campus. I received a Testament when I wasn’t sure which way was up.” Pastor Mike often uses this part of his story to encourage Gideons and Auxiliary. He adds, “You have the tool in your hands that changes lives. There is something supernatural that happens with the Word of God. There is no better work. Keep going!”
Pastor Mike is eternally grateful for the people God placed in his life who have pushed him to love God with all his heart, soul, mind, and strength. This begins with the most significant people in his life—his wife, Sharon, and their five children. He is also grateful for Bible study leaders, an apologist, and a faithful Gideon who, at different points in his life, have all shown him the importance of grace and obedience grounded in the Word of God. Jesus and His Gospel is what gripped Pastor Mike’s heart over three decades ago and still move him today to reach as many people as he can with the Good News.