Interview With Dr. Ireshia Hilliard (The Torch)
INTERVIEW QUESTIONS How old were you when you accepted the call of God on your life?
I was 21. I preached my first sermon September 1999.
How was your life growing up as a preacher's kid?
Life growing up as preacher’s kid was normal from a family aspect but because of my youth, I did not appreciate the value in being a PK. My parents made sure we had childhood experiences and participated in the various school activities of our interest. Of course, with your father being a Pastor you could not attend the parties and we had guidelines to live by that others children didn’t have but as you get older you appreciate the structure. My parents made sure that important school events and moments in life they were present, so we didn’t grow up despising the call of God on our parents. Most of the time the pressure that preacher’s kid have comes from the expectations other place on them.
Did you have any idea that the torch to serve as Senior Pastor of New Light would be passed to you?
Growing up I had no idea I would be passed the torch and most of my teenage years I didn’t even want to work in ministry. Matter fact I told my parents I wanted to go to college to be an accountant, and I would just attend church but I would never work in ministry. My parents have always prayed for us to work alongside them in ministry, and after various seasons in my life I started to work in ministry and God moved on my heart to help my parents with their vision. Over ten years ago my father sat me down after a time of prayer, that God has spoke to him about me being his successor. He instructed me then to seek the Lord so that I would know for sure for myself, and not just accept it based on his word. After prayer, I accepted the call to be the next Pastor of New Light and at that time I was far from ready to be the Senior Pastor. Over the past ten years or more my father has been training me, God wad developing me and today I stand ready to lead our church into the next season of ministry.
How does in feel to be standing on the shoulders of your parents after years of excellence in ministry?
It feels great to be standing on such great shoulders. The task is BIG, the assignment is large but I trust God to order my steps and because of how I served my parents over the years I know God will honor my faithfulness. My goal is to make God proud, make my parents proud, and lead the people of God into all that God has for their lives. The joy of this journey is that my parents fully support me and I am grateful that they get to see their legacy move forward in this season.
What is in the future for New Light Christian Church? The future of New Light Church is to continue to build people of purpose, power and praise. New Light Church will be the place that bridges generations together. We are living in a time where you have four to five generations existing. When I think about the future of the church, I see the older generations working alongside younger generations as we demonstrate to the world we are stronger together. I see our church growing exponentially and I am excited to see the two divisions of New Light Church expanding and touching lives around the world. It’s my desire to show people how to be intentional in living by faith and enjoying the journey.