STEPHEN "RED" SHUMATE
In 2014, Stephen became the pastor at Covenant Baptist Church in Bellevue, TN (a suburb of Nashville). This was completely a God thing. Prior to his call at Covenant Baptist Church, Stephen had no plans to become a pastor. However, in 2013 it became clear that this was God’s plan.
In the fall of 2013 Stephen began preaching at Covenant to fill in while they found a pastor. However, during this time, both Stephen and his wife, as well as the church body, began to feel God’s call for Stephen at Covenant. And in January of 2014 Stephen officially became their pastor.
During his time at Covenant, Stephen, has seen God work in mighty ways. Not only has he witnessed God working in many of the people’s lives at Covenant, but he has also experienced God’s work first hand in his life and as well as his wife’s. God has used this experience as pastor to teach Stephen more about his faith than ever before and to bring him closer in his relationship with God.
Stephen continues to enjoy pastoring at Covenant as he sees the church grow and learn to serve their community. Each week, Stephen brings a message that he believes God has laid on his heart and he does his best to connect it to our everyday lives and leave everyone with practical advice on how to begin living out that message.
A Lighting Director
Stephen moved to Nashville, TN in the fall of 1998 to begin working in the lighting industry. Stephen’s interest in lighting began in high school and continued into college and even into his time at Carowinds.
Over the next 16 years Stephen worked in the live event industry doing lighting. During this time, his work took him all over the United States and Canada. He worked all types of events from concerts to conventions to religious event to corporate meetings. One time he even lit cadaver parts for a demonstration surgery.
For over 10 years, Stephen was the lighting director for one of his favorite events, Living Proof Live with Beth Moore. Today, Stephen continues to work part time in the lighting industry time and enjoys working with his lifelong friends in the entertainment industry as much as he can.
Stephen was born and raised in Reidsville, NC and is a Carolina boy at heart. Stephen was raised with strong family values and grew up in a typical nuclear family with his mom, dad and 2.5 kids (himself, his older sister and two dogs). He loved spending time playing next door on his grandparents’ 40-acre farm. To this day, one of his favorite things to do is to go fishing, just like he did at the pond behind his grandfather’s house. The older Stephen gets, the more he realizes just how rare this childhood is and the more he treasures this gift he was given.
During his high school years, Stephen was involved in theatre (and lighting) while also working at the local TV Station WAU Channel 14. After graduating from Rockingham Co. Sr. High School, Stephen began working summers as a street actor at Carowinds in Charlotte, NC. He often refers to this time as the good old days.
During the off season, Stephen attended NC State University where he was also involved in theatre and lighting. Stephen graduated with a degree in Communications in 1997.
A Family Man
Cue the Eharmony Music.
On June 4th, 2010, Stephen proposed to Sarah at his home where she said “Yes!” and exactly one year later on June 4th, 2011, they were married at their church in Antioch, TN. Sarah once swore that she would never marry a pastor and Stephen once said he never wanted to be a pastor… Now they have learned, never say never… especially where God is concerned.
In 2014, they moved to White Bluff, TN so they would be closer to Covenant Baptist Church. And in 2016 God began to separately lay on their hearts the desire to adopt. It wasn’t until Jan 2017 that Stephen and Sarah actually began to talk to each other about adoption. By Sept. 2017 Stephen and Sarah had decided to adopt and had completed the necessary training and approval process to become adoptive parents. They hope to adopt an older child, between the ages of 5-12, out of the foster care system.
At this point, Stephen and Sarah are patiently waiting (as patiently as they can anyway) for God to bring the right child into their lives. To find out more about Stephen and Sarah’s adoption process visit sssadoption.blogspot.com or to donate towards their adoption go to www.gofundme.com/stephen-sarah-adopted.
In 2012, Stephen wrote a short devotional called Cars and Christianity. Cars and Christianity is a short, easy to understand book that uses examples that anyone who owns and/or maintains a car will connect with. It tackles subjects from how life becomes a wreck to how to access your GPS so you know where you’re going. If you are interested in a copy of Cars and Christianity, use the form below to contact Stephen.
Currently, Stephen is working on a larger project meant to help people better understand their faith and give them the big picture of their life, their faith and what it means to be a Christian. When Stephen got serious about his faith in 2008, he very quickly began to realize that he only knew bits and pieces of what he really should know and didn’t have any idea how it all fit together.
As he began to search for answers, he found that there are very few resources that help Christian get started in their faith. As a result, Stephen believes that many Christians don’t have a solid foundation or a complete understanding of just what it means to be a Christians and what they should be doing. This project is meant to give all Christians, no matter their denomination, a solid, practical, Biblical foundation on which to build their faith and their lives.
If you are interested in more information on Stephen’s current project or want to know when it becomes available, let him know by contacting him below.
The outline of Stephen’s testimony can be found in Luke 15:11-32, The Story of the Prodigal Son. Stephen grew up in a Christian home where he and his family faithfully went to church every Sunday. Stephen became a Christian at a young age and for the most part lived a Christian life. However, in his twenties, he began to live the life of the Prodigal son. And while his belief in God never wavered, he certainly wasn’t living a life pleasing to God.
One day in 2008, Stephen found himself in tears at the end of his bed praying to God. He realized he was desiring the “slop of the pigs” and so he came running back to God, who welcomed him with open arms. At this time, he clearly heard God whisper in his heart… “Are you done trying to do life your way? Are you ready to do it my way?” His answer was an emphatic “Yes!” That night, Stephen rededicated his life to Jesus and committed to follow him no matter what the cost.
Over the next 6 years, God began a mighty work in Stephen’s life that took him from living a life that was not pleasing to God to being a pastor at a small church in Nashville. Stephen continues to grow, learn and change as God works in his life.
Stephen is a Christian and has accepted Jesus Christ as his personal savior.
Stephen believes that in the beginning God created the world and that we are His creations. God created the world perfectly, but then sin entered the world through Adam and Eve and as a result, sin nature has been passed to all men. Sin has set the world on a path to destruction and sin in our lives leads to spiritual death. (Genesis 1-9) He feels the destruction sin has caused in this world becomes evident when we look at the world and wonder “Is this really how things were supposed to turn out?”
The good news is that Stephen also believes that God wants to save man from sin and to restore our lives to original design, so that we can once again live in His glory in a New Heaven and New Earth (Rev. 21). In order to save man from Sin, God sent His Only Son, Jesus Christ to Earth to die on a cross as a sacrifice in our place (John 3:16).
Stephen believes that Jesus is the ONLY way to salvation (John 14:6). And that according to scripture, in order to accept the gift of salvation, we must believe IN Jesus and confess Him as Lord (Romans 10:9). It is not enough to believe THAT Jesus can save, but instead we must believe IN Jesus to save us by giving Him our lives to change. This means we must do our best to follow Jesus and be obedient by living as He teaches in the Bible.
Additionally, Stephen believes that once we are saved and God begins to work in our lives, he is also preparing us to become an active part of the Body of Christ. It is Stephen’s belief that every Christian’s goal should be to find their role in the Body of Christ and do their best to work with other Christians to accomplish the will of God (I Corinthians 12). As Christians, instead of our own wants and desires being at the center of our focus, Christ should become the center all we do (Luke 9:23).
If you would like to know more about becoming a Christian or about Stephen’s faith, use the form below to contact Stephen.