Rising St. James gets new pastor

Published 9:45 pm Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Sean Gaines, with his wife, Penny, is the new pastor at Rising St. James Pentecostal Holiness Church. (Submitted photo)

Sean Gaines, with his wife, Penny, is the new pastor at Rising St. James Pentecostal Holiness Church. (Submitted photo)

The newest pastor in Suffolk hopes to make his church a “one-stop shop” for helping people in the community.

Sean Gaines, whose first pastorage will be at Rising St. James Pentecostal Holiness Church, said he wants the church, located at 201 N. Sixth St., to do plenty of outreach.

“We don’t exist just to preach,” Gaines said. “We need to do something outside of the four walls.”

Gaines grew up in church and was inspired by many family members who are ministers and musicians. His uncle, William Fayton Jr., was pastor at Temple of Faith Church of God in Christ in Norfolk and was a special inspiration to him, Gaines said.

“Ministry has just always been a part of my life,” Gaines said. “I’ve always felt a strong desire to help people. Ministry seemed like the perfect fit.”

The 40-year-old Gaines was ordained in December 1999 and has been working in outreach and marketing positions since then. He also has a non-ministry job at the commissary at Langley Air Force Base.

He recently met up with Rising St. James, and they asked him to preach at a service.

“I guess I did OK, because they called me back,” he said. “After that it was just a marriage. I fell in love with them, and they fell in love with me.”

Gaines said he hopes to help feed and clothe homeless citizens and help at-risk children. He also hopes to be able to expand the church’s building and use it as a “hub for programming” in the city.

“I’m excited about what Suffolk is doing with young pastors,” he said.

Gaines and his wife, Penny, have been married for 20 years. They have a son, Colton Xavier Hamilton, 18, and a daughter, Taylor LaSean, 16.