Marshall Wayne Sullivan
Who I Am: I am a Christ-Follower who continually seeks to cultivate the personal love relationship that Jesus Christ initiated with me. I am husband who is thankful for, deeply committed to, and madly in love with my beautiful bride, Crystal. I love being daddy to my two adorable daughters: Abigail and Elizabeth. We desperately want to raise them to know and love Jesus Christ. I am a pastor with a great burden to responsibly love, shepherd, and equip the saints under my care to live a life that pleases God and brings Him great glory. I believe every pastor is called to be a good theologian. So, I understand that I must continue to deepen my understanding of God and the things of God if I will be used by Him to have and impact upon the Church and culture. Currently, I serve as an Transitional Pastor (Intentional Interim Pastor) at Ephesus Baptist Church in Spring Hope, NC.
Mission Statement: To live in such a way that I am growing myself, my family, and the Church in ways that increase our discipleship, our connection to community and culture, and our overall ability to bring God glory.
Purpose Statement: I have a divine calling to love God, to know and proclaim Christ and His Gospel to others, to maintain my focus upon God’s Mission, to serve as a Minister of the Gospel to His Church, and to be a steward and guardian of the true faith as a Pastor/Theologian in order that we may reach our community, change our culture, and bring God great glory.
Education: I am a graduate of North Carolina State University where I earned two Bachelor of Science degrees in the fields of Biological Sciences and Botany in 2001. After graduation, I worked as a Chemist in a Pharmaceutical Production Laboratory for almost 5 years. In 2005, I began pursuing a Masters of Divinity in Christian Ministry with Biblical Languages from Southeastern Baptists Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina. I earned that degree, and I mean I earned it, in May of 2010. Since 1998, I have served in various ministry positions across the state of North Carolina. Positions ranging from volunteer youth director to senior pastor. I strongly desire to serve Jesus Christ the remainder of my life. I want to see families and churches live out our faith with authentic zeal.
You can follow me on Twitter (@ZealousHomes) or Facebook (Zealous Homes). You can learn more about me by visiting my resume site: www.waynesullivan.net. You can contact me through our Contact page or via email.
My Family: Wife - Crystal (married 10 years); Daughters - Abigail and Elizabeth; Mother - Debbie; Father - Marshall; Brother - Matthew
Favorite Bible Verses: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight." - Proverbs 3:5-6
"Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go. This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” - Joshua 1:7-9
"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” - John 10:27-30
"And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ." - Ephesians 4:11-13
Favorite Quote: “The ultimate end of our pastoral oversight must be linked with the ultimate purpose of our lives. This is to please and to glorify God. It is also to see the sanctification and holy obedience of the people under our charge. To nurture our people’s unity, order, beauty, strength, preservation, and increase must be our task. It is the right worshiping of God” - Richard Baxter, The Reformed Pastor
Personal Website: www.waynesullivan.net
A Story of God's Grace In His Grace, God gave me what I needed as a young child. He gave me an honest, hard-working father and a sweet, loving mother. He gave me two grandmothers’ who loved the Lord. My parents were God-fearing people, but they rarely attended church because they had been hurt by a legalistic pastor before I was born. They did make sure that my brother and I attended church during Vacation Bible School (VBS) weeks and at other times with family members. Most of my early church experience came when I spent the night at my grandmother’s homes. They made sure that I always went to church when I stayed with them.
During one of my VBS weeks at a Southern Baptist Church in Rocky Mount, NC, the pastor scared me so much with the thought of going to Hell that I went forward to collect my fire insurance. At the age of 12, I was publicly dunked in a warm pool of water. It all seemed so formal, magical even, but as I wiped the snot away from my nose the only thing I remember thinking was, “Okay, I’m good now! I don’t have to worry about Hell anymore!” For the next 10 years of my life, not much changed. I tried to be a good person, but Christ was not much of a factor in my teenage years. The church that dunked me did not actively try to follow up with any discipleship, so naturally I was in the process of conforming to the world and growing up a pagan who was dunked at a church to collect fire insurance.
As a teenager, I was a pretty good kid. I didn’t party. I didn’t drink alcohol, do drugs, or smoke. However, no matter how good I was, I never felt good enough. I always felt something was missing. When I started college at North Carolina State University in the Spring of 1998, I tried really hard to be a good student. I studied hard and tried to hang out with new friends. Unfortunately, my new friends who lived next door in the dorm were heavy drinkers who loved to party. Despite their influence, I never acquired a taste for their lifestyle or their alcohol, though admittedly I tried for a season to be like them. I hung out with them regularly, cussed like a sailor when I was with them, even tried to drink a little, but couldn’t bear the taste of alcohol (thankfully)! So I made a good designated driver for a semester.
When Summer break came, I went home promising myself that I needed to make a change for the better. During the Fall semester, those old friends had quit school, so I had a clean slate. I attended a meeting called “Prime Time” hosted by Campus Crusade for Christ. I asked about their weekly men’s bible studies. Soon two guys knocked on my dorm room door. Cary Osborne and Alan Huffman came in and began to tell me about the bible study they lead in my dorm. They shared a little yellow booklet with me titled “The Four Spiritual Laws,” but I told them I was already a Christian. I attended their bible study for a few weeks and really bonded with the other guys in the group. While I enjoyed their companionship, their relationship with this Jesus guy was unlike anything I had ever witnessed. It made me feel inadequate, fake, like I didn’t belong to their group, but I wanted to be as happy and joyful as these guys were.
September came around and they asked me if I was going to go to their annual Fall Retreat. It sounded like fun so I agreed to go with them (not knowing that it would forever change my life). They had lined up a retreat pastor named Dan Hayes. He spoke to the nearly 100 NCSU Crusaders gathered at the retreat on the topic of “Fireseeds of Spiritual Revival” During the talk, I had the most uneasy feeling in my soul. As he talked, I realized the he was talking about a relationship with Jesus Christ that I knew I did not have. He talked about how to have a relationship with Christ, not about how to avoid Hell! He gave an unusual invitation. He didn’t ask for me to go to the front and pray with anyone. He said, “If you want a relationship with Christ, go out and find you a quiet place and talk to God about it tonight before you go to bed.” So I got in a canoe and made my way out into the middle of the lake in the dark and there talked to God for probably a couple of hours! When I came back onshore, I quickly found Cary and Alan to share with them the good news of the transformation I was undergoing. The next day, I realized that there were about 20 other students who gave their life to Christ the night before. It was an amazing time of worship that followed as we celebrated the Grace and Mercy of the Father through His Son Jesus Christ. For the first time, I wasn’t just singing songs; I was worshiping my Savior!
Over the next year, I read and absorbed as much as I could about Christ. When the next summer break came, I went back to the church that had dunked me and got involved. I was soon asked to help lead their youth group. It was during this time that I felt a call to ministry. A year later I had switched churches to a larger church with the hope that I could be better prepared for ministry. While there, God dealt with me on the issue of Believer’s Baptism. I realized that I was not baptized Biblically yet! So in this fine SBC church, I was finally baptized as a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. This time there was nothing magical, I was just honored to follow my Lord in baptism in obedience to His command.
A few years later I began attending Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. I met my wife while volunteering in a Rocky Mount youth ministry. I have since graduated with a M. Div. in Christian Ministry. Currently, Crystal and I are raising our daughters Abigail and Elizabeth in Nashville, NC! I am serving as a Transitional Pastor, which is akin to an Intentional Interim, in a Southern Baptist church in Spring Hope, NC.
If you have made it this far in your reading, it is my prayer that God has spoken to you about the joy of the salvation He has given me through His Son. I would like to ask you a favor, one child of God to another, would you lift up a pray right now for my family? Would you ask God to grant us wisdom and direction that is unmistakable? Crystal and I strongly desire to serve the Lord. We do not want to put Him in a box and ask Him to work within a set of our predetermined limiting factors. We want to be truly open to go wherever He leads, and do whatever He asks. Will you pray for my family to be faithful stewards of the Gospel in the years ahead? I hope you will.