“…His word was in my heart like a burning fire shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, and I could not” (Jer. 20.9).
My name is Chris Pruitt. At the age of 16, my interest in the Bible led me to study with the local evangelist of a congregation I attended as a child – a man named Brent. Through this study, there were two things that really impressed me.
For the first time, things really seemed to make sense. In a hundred years, it would not matter the kind of car that I drove, the kind of shoes I wore, or the kind of house I lived in. But in a hundred years, the only thing that would matter is whether I was lost or saved. I decided that more than anything else, I wanted to help people get to heaven by sharing the gospel with the world, “for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes” (Rom. 1.16).
The thought of so many without the knowledge of whether they are lost or saved, so many even within the walls of the church building not living their lives by the principles and standards of the Bible, evoked in me a passion to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ so that people could hear, believe, and be saved. Like Ezra, who “prepared his heart to seek the Law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach statutes and ordinances in Israel” (Ezra 7.10), I prepared my heart to know the Bible, so that I could teach the word of God to others.
I wanted to do what the Levites did when they “helped the people to understand the Law; and the people stood in their place. So they read distinctly from the book, in the Law of God; and they gave the sense, and helped them to understand the reading" (Neh. 8.7,8). With all my heart, I wanted to help people to “understand what the will of the Lord is” (Eph. 5.17), by helping them understand the Bible.
At the age of 18, I preached my very first sermon. I was visiting a congregation in Taft, California. A friend of mine used to say that Taft is so bad, he could see lizards with backpacks leaving town. Someone else said that Taft is not the end of the world, but you could see it from there. Anyway, while I was listening to the sermon, the preacher looked right at me and said that he heard I was interested in preaching. When I told him that I was, right on the spot, he arranged for me to preach the next Sunday.
Apparently, word got around. Next thing I knew, I was getting phone calls from congregations all over California asking me to come and fill in for their preacher who was sick or out of town. I was driving up and down California three out of the four Sundays each month.
At the age of 23, I had had enough of my home town of Bakersfield, and saw an opportunity to do some local work in the city of Salinas. I knew the preacher in Salinas very well, and knew that there was a good chance I could learn from him. I was only there for about a year when he accepted work with a congregation in San Jose.
While the congregation in Salinas looked for their next evangelist, they asked me if I would preach for them until they found someone full time. I agreed, and preached for the Salinas brethren for about six months. It was there that I met the woman who would become my wife of what is going on 19 years. (More on that later.)
This is the most amazing thing. I was tired of being the guy congregations called on to fill in for their preacher who was away. I wanted to start working with a congregation full time. Even while I worked with Salinas, I still had a full time job working for Pacific, Gas, and Electric Company.
I did not want to be someone who preached occasionally on the side. I wanted to devote my life to preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. I started researching to find out if there were any congregations which had training programs, apprenticeships, or preaching colleges. I had a list of about 10 different opportunities. I sat down at the computer, wrote a cover letter, made a resume, put everything in an envelope, and was about to mail off copies to various congregations.
Before I stopped at the post office, I decided to stop at the church building to check the mail. Sitting in the mailbox was a letter from a congregation in Cayucos who just started up a preacher’s training program and was inquiring if anyone was interested in applying for the program being offered by Brent, the same evangelist who baptized me almost ten years ago.
I couldn’t believe it. There I was with my resume and cover letter in hand ready to be mailed off. I stopped by to check the mail and sitting in the mailbox was in invitation to apply for their preacher training program. That’s what I call providence!
I promptly mailed it off, and within a couple of weeks, I was invited to come to Cayucos for a try out. About a month later, I received a call from Brent saying I had been chosen to be in the program. In February 1998, I moved to Cayucos with my beautiful, supportive wife and began the rigorous college-level training program.
After graduating from the program in February 1999, I was immediately offered a position as the evangelist in Taft. Looks like my life went full circle. My first sermon was preached in Taft when I was 18. My first job as a preacher was in Taft at the age of 27. I worked with that congregation for three years before I left to start working with a congregation in Las Vegas, where I have been preaching the gospel for the last 16 years. After preaching for the last 29 years, with the last 19 years working as a full time evangelist, I can honestly say that that the word of God has felt like a fire in my heart and in my bones, and I cannot wait to get up every morning and share the good news of Jesus Christ.
I have been married to my wonderful wife for 19 years and have a thoughtful son who has found his passion in the study of science, specifically chemistry.
The day I met my wife is one of my most precious memories. The brethren in Salinas threw a baby shower for one of our sisters in Christ, and everyone was invited. This sister happened to be good friends with a family living in Modesto who also came all the way to the coast to attend this baby shower. The daughter of this family was stunning! I can honestly say that I had never seen a more beautiful woman. She was wearing a long burgundy skirt, a white button up shirt, and her long hair fell all the way to the small of her back. When I looked at her it took my breath away. Several times, I tried to stir up the courage to talk with her, and several times I failed, as I just walked passed her pretending to be walking somewhere else. Finally, I was able to walk up and introduce myself. We talked for a good long while before her and her family headed back to Modesto.
All week, I couldn't get her off my mind. A mutual friend knew how much I was interested in her, and offered to take us to Yosemite National Park. I never thought she would agree, but when I called and asked her, I was surprised that she said yes. Our friend, Donna, and I drove down to Modesto, picked her up, and spent the day at Yosemite. Without boring you with all the details, a year and a half later, we were married.
I have attended and even officiated at many weddings. Without a doubt, my wedding was perfect. It was a storybook wedding. In front of a crowd of about 400 of our friends and family, I watched the most beautiful woman in the world walk down the aisle, and I could not believe that she was coming down to be my wife. When we exchanged rings, my best friend, Charles, handed me the ring and as I brought the ring to her hand, the light caught it just right to sparkle brightly as the audience collectively gasped. My wedding is one of my most fondest memories. I go there often. Not many people are fortunate enough to marry their soul mate. I hesitate to say that I am one of the lucky ones. It would be more accurate for me to say that God heard my prayers and answered them with her.
Today, we have been married almost 21 years and together we have a very intelligent, caring, 18 year old son.
Well, that’s my story and my passion. Hope you enjoyed it!Home > About Me