Pastor Rob Prince pastors Central Church of the Nazarene in Flint, Michigan, and is author of the book “Chronic Pain.” Prince is speaking at revival services at College Church of the Nazarene on the campus of Olivet Nazarene University from Sept. 18-21.
GlimmerGlass: Did you know when you went to college you wanted to be a pastor? If not when did you know?
Rob Prince: When I came to Olivet I knew that God had called me to full time service, but I don’t think I thought I would be a pastor. I thought that maybe I would be a professor or work in a rescue mission.
GG: Why did you become a pastor?
Prince: During my seminary years, I realized that my gifts, talents and temperament were probably more suited for pastoring.
GG: How did you know that was what the Lord was calling you to do?
Prince: I knew God was calling because that’s where my passions were and that’s where I found the most joy. I worked at the Kansas City rescue mission, the Nazarene Publishing House, I was a janitor, and at a Presbyterian church during those years and slowly God was revealing where I would be of best service to Him.
GG: For any college student that might be struggling finding their way, maybe in their faith or their future career path, what would be your advice to them?
Prince: Patience. That’s was the key for me. I knew that I wanted to serve God full time but the exact nature of that took a while to discern. During that time, I gathered a lot of different experiences: working at different churches, the rescue mission, Nazarene Publishing house and recruiting on the weekends for Olivet. All of those experiences, a lot of prayer and speaking with mentors and friends helped discern the calling of God upon my life.
GG: You have a book out currently “Chronic Pain,” for those within the Olivet community that have not read or heard about the book can you give us a quick overview of what it is about?
Prince: It is a book about trusting God in the midst of one’s pain. Allowing God to help and allowing life to continue even when an immediate cure is not happening.
GG: What made you decide to write a book?
Prince: In 2007, I had a subarachnoid hemorrhage. That is generally a very bad thing. 50% of the people that have a brain hemorrhage like mine die; 10 percent don’t even make it to the hospital they die almost immediately. Obviously, I did not die, but since then I have chronic migraines, around 20 a month. I receive Botox injections, Xeomin now, to help mitigate the intensity and duration of the migraines. God has helped me overcome these issues and have hope and life in the midst of pain.
GG: You graduated from Olivet, what is your favorite memory from your time spent here?
Prince: I loved my time at Olivet. I have so many wonderful memories with friends and professors alike. I loved things like Ollie Follies, yes, Ollies Follies were even back then; I loved watching our teams play; I loved hanging out in the red room and playing cards. I loved the spiritual components of the campus life. I simply loved everything about Olivet.
GG: If you could go back and change one thing about your college career what would it be and why?
Prince: I’m not sure that I would change much. I was a psychology major, knowing that I was going to go on to seminary. I think I might have taken more writing and English classes as I seem to be doing a lot of that these days.
GG: What was your initial thought when you were asked to speak at this year’s Fall Revival services?
Prince: I was so honored and humbled to be asked to come back to Olivet to speak at the fall revival. It is especially meaningful since my son, Ben, is a senior this year and will be able to participate in the services, although he refuses to help me preach one of the sermons, the big goober. I really hope that God uses me for his glory this week. It was at the fall revival my freshman year, that I sensed the need for a deeper work in my life and in my room; after much prayer, God sanctified me wholly. Like Wesley, my heart was strangely warmed and I have never been the same. I hope students have a similar opportunity to deepen their Christian walk and become more and more the people God created us to be.
GG: What are you looking for students to learn from the sermons you have prepared? What is the overall message?
Prince: Most of the week we will be in the book of Nehemiah. Nehemiah is in large part about Nehemiah’s leading the construction of the wall around Jerusalem— but really this week we will focus on fixing what is broken in our lives. We all have some level of brokenness and God is Great Repairer of the broken aspects of our lives.
—Nicole Pilbeam, Life & Culture Editor