3715 Oceanic Way, Oceanside
Pastor: Mike Reed
Born: Fort Sill, OK
Formation: Southern California College (now Vanguard University), Costa Mesa.
Years Ordained: 28
San Diego Reader: What is your favorite subject on which to preach?
Pastor Mike Reed: Love of God. When you truly understand that, it changes everything. He loves us, period, irrelevant of our love back for him. His love is not conditional upon our love, and so when we understand that and wrap our minds around the fact that I can’t make God love me more — he already loves me as much as he can or as much as I could ever understand or know — it changes the way we view life.
SDR: Why did you become a minister in the first place?
PR: God called me to do it. It was pretty radical. I’ve had a bone marrow and liver transplant, and I was given zero percent chance to live when I was 10 years old. I had 300 transfusions, massive radiation, and hepatitis from the transfusions, so they gave me 5 years to live 12 years ago, after my liver transplant. I grew up and always believed in God but didn’t know Jesus from Adam. On July 6, 1982, after my junior year of high school, was the first time I really heard the gospel. Jesus crashed into my darkness in a radical way and it was one week later at a summer camp that God let me know he wanted me to serve him.
SDR: What is the mission of your church?
PR: Our mission is to love God, love each other, and love the lost. We are first about loving God first and foremost, with all our hearts, souls and strength. We want to focus on the first priority — our individual relationship with God because out of that flows everything else. I always say, you can’t teach what you don’t know, and you can’t lead where you won’t go. So, if you haven’t learned it or God hasn’t taught it to you, you can’t teach it to others. Then when you love each other, the world will know we are his disciples by the way we love each other. So there is an emphasis on how we treat each other in everyday life. Then a big part of that comes through loving the lost…. If God asked if Oceanside would weep if we disappeared, my answer would be a definitive “Yes.” They would weep because they would know we are gone. This church makes that much of an impact.
SDR: Where is the strangest place you’ve found God?
PR: In my suffering, without a doubt…. I’m convinced that if I hadn’t suffered the way I suffered I would never have come to know God. Not that I want suffering — I don’t say, “Thank you for the suffering,” but I still thank God through it. I’m convinced that it’s not the circumstances in life that make or break you, but what you allow God to do with them.
SDR: Where do you go when you die?
PR: I believe in a literal heaven and in a literal hell, because the Bible teaches it. So, it depends on whether you have accepted what Jesus Christ has done for you on the cross. If you believe that Jesus died and rose again on the third day, you shall be saved because you have allowed his redemption to cover your sins.