John Fernandes

Testimony and Call To Ministry

      Born in 1995, John is the middle child between an older and younger sister. In high school, John felt the call to ministry and started pursuing it. Although John grew up in Nazarene and Catholic household, he did not develop a relationship with Christ until he was persecuted for believing in Christ throughout his high school career. God became more of a concrete idea than a concept in the sky that he was raised to believe in. Outside of his involvement in church, John began researching and reading Scripture to develop his own opinion of the validity of the Bible. Through his research, John started a blog to track what he learned. John started Blind Man Given Eyes to See his senior year of high school in 2012.

     John was raised in what I term a bi-religion background; his father is Nazarene and his mother is Catholic. Because of this, he attended a Catholic school until second grade, but continued to take Catholic classes at different Catholic churches until sophomore year of high school. He grew up attending Orangewood Nazarene Church and then Turning Leaf while participating in the aforementioned Catholic theology classes simultaneously. He attests that the mix of both caused a theological confusion in him while he was young.

            Although he followed Christ, he would say that his faith was not solid. He always knew there was God, but he never had the capability to reason why. He switched high schools from Independence to Phoenix Country Day School to finish his last two years of high school. PCDS was quite against Christianity and they had the predisposition that all Christians were uneducated bigots. He found himself having to dig into the Word and research so that he could defend why he believed what he believed, which help form his faith and solidify his beliefs. His junior year, he heard a faint voice telling him ministry with youth is where he need to be. This went against all the plans he had of going to college for Political Science. He spoke with his youth pastor and he advised him to pursue any other open door besides ministry. If ministry is where he is truly called, God would open and close the necessary doors. John followed his advice and got into great colleges for Political Science. That voice did not go away. In fact, it got louder that he need to be a minister for youth.

            Over the next year, John got a new youth pastor and he never told him about the previous conversation with the former youth pastor. One day, the voice was extremely strong, so John called my old youth pastor and he once again gave me the same advice. The problem was John worked hard in school and was well rounded, so no doors were closing for him and new ones were constantly opening. His parents came home that day arguing about something, so he drove off early to Bible Quizzing practice. On his way there, he pulled over. John started crying for no reason and called his current youth pastor and met him in the parking lot outside of a Starbucks. The youth pastor got in John's car and started talking when he saw how emotional John was and John told him about this calling and his desire to not pursue it. John had trepidation that I would fail or be inadequate to serve God in that capacity. He told John God does not call the prepared, but prepares the called. He explained to John how he saw John's influence on his peers and that he saw this calling in John, but John was just as stubborn and hard-headed as he was when he was called. From that moment, John's life began transforming. He enrolled at Grand Canyon University to study Youth Ministry, which surprised my family, friends, and school.

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Scholar

John graduated from Grand Canyon University's Honors College with a B.S. in Psychology and a B.A. in Christian Studies with a minor in Worship Arts. While in his undergrad, John was inducted into the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and Alpha Chi National College Honor Society. John is currently studying to get his Masters of Divinity with an emphasis in Youth and Family Ministry from Nazarene Theological Seminary.