Pastor already familiar with Tucker Swamp BaptistPublished 9:51am Monday, October 7, 2013
By Merle Monahan
ZUNI—The new pastor at Tucker Swamp Baptist Church is a former member who attended there when he was a child.
“I tell people that God has now brought me full-circle,” he said with a smile, “and I’m happy about it.”
Rev. Curtis “Curt” Faison was born and grew up in Unity, just a few miles from Tucker Swamp. He graduated from Southampton High School in 1976, but did not go into the ministry until 20 years later.
“At first, I didn’t feel the call from God, so I became a farmer,” he said. “During the latter part of the eight years I farmed, however, the vision from God that I should preach became stronger and stronger.
“I left farming in 1984 and went to Camp Manufacturing Company, where I stayed another 13 years. But all the time I was there, I felt God’s call, so I finally entered Southeastern Theological Baptist Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C.”
Faison said he received his bachelor’s in 1998 and his master’s in 2001.
“My first church was Sandy Run Baptist in North Carolina,” he said. “At 250 years old, it is the third oldest active Baptist church in North Carolina.
“I was there for two and a half years when I felt that God had called me back to Virginia.”
Faison then became pastor of Newsoms Baptist, where he stayed for six and a half years.
After that he spent the next six and a half years at Woodlawn Baptist in Danville before taking over the helm of Tucker Swamp in July 2012.
Faison said his wife, Beth, and daughter, Ashlee Wallace, and son, Brock, and their families have been his strongest supporters.
He adds that he feels right at home at Tucker Swamp. Although the church has grown since he attended as a youngster, there still are many things he remembers, especially the church members.
“Everyone is the same—so kind and helpful.”
His 600-plus-membership church today is one of the most active in the area.
“We have two very active programs for our youth, a pre-school discipleship and the RAs and GAs, who all meet on Wednesday nights,” he said.
“Then we have adult Bible study programs, sometimes there are three programs going on at one time.”
Faison said the church is deeply involved in foreign missions and, in fact, has four families stationed at different locations right now.
“Then a group of our members travel to Bland County every year to help the people who are so desperately in need—many need help fixing their homes and fortunately we have some pretty good carpenters on our rolls,” he said.
“These people are also active in our community. We periodically build handicap ramps, fix roofs and gutters, things like that. We work with the County Social Services on these jobs.
“Then we have been designated as a relay center for the Shoebox Ministry.”
Faison said although the church is already involved in a number of ministries, there is one other thing he would like to do. He wants to develop for church members a curriculum of different courses, like marriage counseling, Bible study, missions and Christian growth.
“When I first brought this up,” Faison said with a big grin, “one member jokingly said that we would then be known as Tucker Swamp University.”