Pastor spreads love and religion in Newville
Standing behind a glass podium in front of an elegant stone wall with a large cross hanging, Pastor Christopher Faylor’s eyes dance and his body becomes animated as he speaks to his congregation about the grace of God.
Standing five feet ten inches tall, wearing a grey jacket, a lime green shirt, a gray tie and a pair of black slacks, Faylor exemplifies his story about the grace of God with the story of Thomas Hawker, a Christian martyr who died centuries ago.
Hawker was burned at the stake for not renouncing his faith. Before he was burned, a friend asked him to raise his hands and clap if he could bear the flames, so he would know that God was real. During his punishment, Hawker was not killed. After the flames went out and Hawker was believed to be dead, he raised his burnt hands high towards the heavens and clapped three times.
Faylor uses this story to teach churchgoers about God’s grace. He says that only through the grace of God can someone survive something as extreme as being burned at the stake.
At the age of 38 years old, Faylor is the acting pastor of Big Spring Heights Church of God in Newville, Pennsylvania. He began preaching at Big Springs in October, 2014.
Faylor has been a church pastor since 1997. He received his bachelor’s degree in pastoral ministry in 1999 from Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee.
Growing up in the Christian enviroment since he was nine, Faylor knew he wanted to be a pastor when he was 15 years old.
“I felt called to church ministry,” Faylor said.
Growing up in Toledo, Ohio, Faylor’s active involvement began with him singing in his church choir when he was young, then he began teaching youth classes. He gave his first sermon when he was 16.
Faylor says seeing change take place in people is the most rewarding aspect of being a pastor, especially when he can help them grow and develop. That does not mean there are no negative aspects.
“Sometimes you invest too much in people,” Faylor said. “It is heartbreaking to watch some people fall back into negative lifestyles.”
However, he does not let this discourage him from doing his work. Faylor says the positives far outweigh the negative.
“My hope is in God,” Faylor said. “My security, peace, strength and direction are all bi-products of my relationship with God. I want to be used by him to influence, encourage and help other people.”
Before landing at Big Springs, Faylor preached at several other churches. He began his journey in Tennessee while in college. He eventually moved to minister in Georgia. Then he hit West Virginia in 2000, Ohio from 2001-2004and then Florida for several months. He finally landed in Pennsylvania in October of 2005.
He did not complete this journey alone, though. Faylor married his wife Dawn in June of 1999, whom he met in college. The couple has been inseparable ever since.
Dawn describes life being married to a preacher as exciting. She admits it can be stressful and challenging at times, but the payout always makes it worth it.
“It is very rewarding. I get to see people and lives change for the better,” Dawn said.
Dawn describes witnessing first-hand people turn over a new leaf in the life of Christianity, giving themselves to God and working to become better people.
When describing her husband’s connection with other people, Dawn allows a grin to cover her face and lets a light-hearted chuckle take over.
“Everybody loves my husband,” Dawn said. “He just has a personality that draws people to him.”
She attributes part of his success as a pastor to his compassionate and loving personality.
Dawn is not the only person who describes Faylor this way. The couple has three young children: Caleb , Hannah  and Evan .
Caleb says he loves having a pastor for a dad and he aspires to be just like his father.
“He cares and loves everyone and just wants to make everyone happy,” Caleb said.
The Faylor’s describe their church congregation as a group of happy, loving, faithful members. Many of the members feel the same way.
One member, Jenn Jumper, appreciates Faylor for his ideas to move the church forward, paying close attention to the youth of the church.
“He is very outgoing and involved, especially when it comes to the teens,” Jumper said.
Teens are often viewed as the body of the church. They will take the place of those before them and it is important that they are led in the right direction. Jumper feels the Faylors’ help set a good example for young adults and children and give them the good influence they need.
“Aside from being an awesome pastor, he is a great leader, head of the church and a great head of his family,” Jumper said.
Faylor is appreciative of the love and support that surrounds him and plans to continue his work as a preacher.
Faylor believes the best way to help continue the process is to continue to encourage others to have and maintain a relationship with God. He believes the church is a perfect place to help support people in building that relationship. He describes the church as a support system, a sanctuary.
“I want to see people grow in new life,” Faylor said.