My Heritage

5 02 2008

I know that most of the time you visit my blog you are looking for the humour that usually abounds.  However, today I wanted to write about the heritage that I have and just how proud I am of that heritage. 

I am a 4th generation Pentecostal on my dad’s side and 4th generation on my mother’s.  I am also a 4th generation UPCI preacher.  My great-grandmother, Alice Anderson, was the first preacher (I believe) to be licensed with the UPCI.  I know that my grandpa Hurst’s uncles were ministers but I don’t know if they were with the UPCI or not.  My great, great uncles on the Varnum’s side of the family actually received the Holy Ghost in a service with William Seymour.  I’ve laid it out there and now I want to tell you about my heritage. 

I’ll start with my great-grandparents.  Great-grandma Hurst was one of the first converts to the Jesus name truth in central Florida.  In fact, it was on of her brothers who brought the message home with him (he was a Varnum).  I really want to get everybody in here but I may miss someone or get a few things wrong.  My great-grandma Alice Anderson was by all accounts a great preacher.  She pastored in Rialto, CA for many years.  Her sermon, The Midnight Cry, is still talked about today.  Her first converts in Rialto were my great grandpa and grandma Pound.   My great grandparents Layne were also in the church for many years. 

My grandparents on both sides of my family have been and were involved in ministry for many years.  Grandpa Murray Layne and Grandma Lila Layne pastored in several locations and built several great churches.  Rialto, CA, Fresno, CA and Mesquite, TX come immediately to mind.  They also pastored in north Houston for several years.  Grandpa Layne also served as the Western District Youth President and as Director of Lighthouse Ranch for Boys.  Unfortunately, both of my mom’s parents have gone on to their reward.  They were incredible people and examples to thousands of people throughout there long and fruitful life.  All of their children are involved in ministry.  My Uncle Keith Layne passed away several years ago but he was the pastor of the church in Mesquite, TX for many years.  All three of the “Layne daughters” are pastors wives.  Aunt Linda in Wichita Falls, TX; Aunt Karla in Austin, TX and my mother Ronda in Hollister, CA.  All of my uncles and two of my cousins are full time ministers.  Jonathan Elms pastors in Beaumont, TX and Andrew Elms is with his father in Wichita Falls. 

Grandpa and Grandma Hurst pastored in Kennewick, WA for 41 1/2 years before retiring in 2006 and moving here to Hollister to be with my parents.  My grandad Hurst has served on the Foreign Missions board for over 30 years.  They built a great church in Kennewick that was truly a great revival church in the NorthWest for many years and still is to this day.  It is a great pleasure to be able to sit next to my Grandpa on the platform every time we have service.  He loves to worship and even though he may not know all of the words to the songs that we sing he always has his hands in the air worshipping God.  There are very few altar services that you won’t see my Grandma in the altar praying on her knees.  After all of these years they still love God with all of their heart. 

My parents have been true examples for years.  My dad and mom pastored in Texarkana, TX for over 20 years.  In the process they built a great church that is pastored today by Bro. Jason Calhoun.  It was truly incredible to see the transformation over the years of Landmark.  From a church set off the Boulevard to a place that everyone in the city knew!  Now they are in Hollister, CA where the same transformation is taking place.  It is amazing what God has done in just 3 1/2 years. 

Why am I writing this?  I felt like it was important for me to state how proud I am of my heritage.  I love the UPCI.  I love truth and am committed to it.  So many things have happened in my life that have only reaffirmed how much I believe in the message that we preach and teach.  It is no different now.  My heritage is deep and rich.  It would be awfully foolish for me to walk away now.  No matter what anyone says.  I believe just like my grandfathers and my uncles and my father!  Nothing has changed and nothing will change.  To say so is foolish!  I love my heritage and would not trade it for anything in the world!




9 responses

5 02 2008

Oh Nathaniel! My mind is going so fast that I can’t hardly get a grip on it! We are all so blessed and I am thankful for the solid rock foundation that we have to stand on! Preach it strong and sure just like all who have preached it in the past and are still preaching it today! Thank you for talking about your heritage, of which I am happy to be a part of. Love you!

I love my heritage. Have I said that enough yet? I love ya’ll too. So happy to be apart of what we have.

5 02 2008
Karla Holley

Nathaniel, I’m proud to have you in the line of our heritage. You are a great asset to our family! I love you!

I love being in our family. I wouldn’t want it any other way!

6 02 2008

Awesome privilege, Than. You can’t put a price on something like that.

I know that you feel the same way. We both go back quite a ways.

6 02 2008

I just want to say that I’m proud of my heritage as well (5th generation pentecostal), and my roots go back to Mississippi, where my ancestors were involved in starting the Tupelo Children’s Mansion.
I will never give up my beliefs or values, and I will always value my relationships with others who believe the same.
You’re a great man, Than, and I respect, admire, and love you and your family. Your father has preached a lot of sermons that have blessed me tremendously through my life, and he’s even prayed specifically for me and told me things that have helped me be strong.
I know nothing will ever change in my attitude or love for you guys! I hope we’ll always be friends.
God bless you always!!!
ps. And I always enjoy reading your blog! =)

Thanks, Janell. I hope to that we can remain friends.

6 02 2008
Joshua Tredway

This is a great post. I too have a very deep-rooted Christian Heritage. I was born and raised in Pentecost. My grandfather pastored the church that my father now pastors in Strathmore, for over 40 years. I grew up on Pentecostal pews, people shouting around me while I slept during service. I remember hearing people talk in tongues all of my life. I too cannot understand how people are worried about the UPC. It is as strong as ever. There is a group of young men like yourself and I, who are strong and grounded on a firm foundation. This is our Christian heritage and we are ready to fight for what we believe. There are some ancient landmarks in our lives and we refuse to let them be moved.

I forgot all about the sleeping under the pews. Have you ever been left at the church? Those were classic moments. I think that “the older generations” can forget that there are those of us who believe it just as strong as they did. I think it is comical for people to believe that they are the only “true” defenders of the truth! It is nice to know that there are other’s my age who feel the same as I do!

7 02 2008
Jana Allard

Than, you know I love your humor because it brightens dull days, but this post has touched my heart. I am one who gets really angry with older people saying, “I don’t know about these young people and if we will have a church tomorrow….blah, blah, blah.” I believe in the youth of today. The church will always stand triumphant and you will help lead. Reading this post actually makes me excited about your generation taking over. You, Bryce, and so many others will take us to higher heights and deeper depths. I am so proud of you.

Sis Allard, Thank you so much. It means a lot to me that you believe in my generation! I’m so excited about the future and the great revival that God is pouring out.

8 02 2008
James Wilder

How’s my old roomate doing? I found your blog through…well…a bazillion other blogs and there you were.
I appreciate your post. I also enjoyed some of your other posts…you’re a nut and you haven’t changed a bit in that regard!
The Apostolic Heritage is one that is beyond demonination, but it is one that has commonality in doctrine and in truth. That’s our real heritage.
Sis. Jana, you are right – the Apostolic Church is in GREAT HANDS!
Love you bro. Glad I found you…I’ll try to keep in touch now.

James, good to hear from you. Doesn’t it feel like a million years ago that we lived together at the Parc at Pointe West! I’m glad that you have enjoyed my blog and that you feel the same way I do about the future of the church!

11 02 2008
Tim Foster

Than, glad to hear from a younger person who is sold on the truth of the UPCI! My kids are a little older than you and it warms my cowboyheart to read about your heritage.


from one HOOK’em HORNS Fan to another,


Tim, good to hear from you again. Thanks for the kind words. It really does mean a lot. I’m hoping for a better year for our ‘Horns and ‘Boys!!

11 02 2008
Tracie Smith

What an incredible post! You do have such a wonderful heritage. It is worth more than any inheritance you could ever receive. I know many of your Texas relatives and of course you and your family. I can remember as a very young minister’s wife admiring your grandparents, Bro. & Sis. Layne. Isn’t it a good feeling to know that not only are we bought by His blood but have the blood line of such Godly people? When I consider my heritage it adds value to my day!

Sis Smith, how good to hear from you!! I do love my heritage. Thank you for the kind words about my grandparents. I miss them everyday.

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