Mike Mehling

I was a member of Freedom Baptist Church for many years so I’m honored to step in and serve this fine group of people as their Pastor.  For those of you I have not met, here’s my story:

I was born and raised in Louisiana as the oldest of three children.  My father was a career railroad man and my mother, a stay-at-home mom.  My parents were Catholic, so it was there in the Catholic church that I learned to honor God, respect my parents, obey the commandments, and be a “good boy.”

However, as I got older, I began to ask more questions.  It became clear to me that we were all going through the motions, not drawing closer to God in any real tangible way.  Church was heavy on symbolism; light on substance.  After twenty years, I had only a shallow understanding of scripture, and no clue as to whether or not I would see heaven if I died.  That seemed wrong.

While at college, I met and married a girl who was also on a spiritual journey.  She was not Catholic, but had many of the same spiritual concerns I did.  As we built a life and family together, God brought us to State College, PA and led us to a small country church that preached and taught straight from the Bible. I was especially impressed that the people weren’t just learning scripture, they were living it out in their day-to-day lives.  Wow!

I’m pleased to report that it was through that ministry and those sincere, devoted people that I came to know Christ not only as THE Savior, but as MY Savior.  I continued to learn as much as I could about the Bible, and that hunger of mine drove me eventually to move to the Philadelphia area and attend Calvary Baptist Theological Seminary.  Those years were not only some of the hardest and most difficult, but also the happiest and richest of my life.  I’m so thankful to have had that opportunity to study scripture, tour Israel, and grow so much deeper in my faith.

From there, God led us to Harrisonburg VA during the summer of 2002 to work and to help a church get off the ground.  My career took off, but unfortunately, my marriage failed, ending in divorce a few years later.

My daughter lives and works here in the Harrisonburg area, and my son just finished college in Paris France.

As you can see, I’m not your typical Baptist pastor!  I have a “real job,” I’m divorced, and I drive a convertible when the weather is nice.  Like you, I’ve had some good times and I enjoy life to the fullest.  I’ve also suffered the failures, setbacks, and trials of life that plague all of us in this sin-cursed world and I have the scars to prove it.  As a result, I’m not here to sit in judgment; I’m here to help.  Life is hard and it’s messy, but together we can not only get through it, but grow and prosper along the way.

Come join us for real-life biblical guidance, support, and solutions.  We do not tickle ears; we roll up sleeves and work together to accomplish what God has called each of us to do…and we manage to slip in some fun along the way!

Come Visit us This Weekend