From time to time, Dr. Payne is asked questions such as the following:
About the Ministry of Dr. Philip A. Payne
Brother Philip A. Payne is a born again believer in Yeshua ben David (Jesus son of David) as the promised Maschiach (anointed) of the Hebrew Scriptures. He came to know Yeshua in a saving manner in August, 1998 and soon thereafter felt a call upon his life to share the unadulterated Gospel with the lost.
As a part of his ministry training, Payne took part in intermittent mission trips among several Native American cultures. This was a highly fruitful outreach and he maintains contact with several individuals whom he met during that time.
He was ordained at Little Pigeon Church in Spencer County, Indiana in October, 2001, following extensive studies with Pastor Don Jones. Payne served as the church’s interim pastor for several months when Brother Don retired, but became frustrated with the membership’s lack of enthusiasm for the Great Commission.
In February, 2002, following much prayer, he and one family from the church who shared his passion for the lost, left to plant Forgotten Way Ministries, an outreach to the community of Oakland City University. Said ministry proved to be a struggle against the established, though doctrinally and spiritually dead churches of the area.
In September of that same year, YHWH opened a door for Payne and a handful of others to do a gang intervention ministry to the community of Hammond, Indiana, a suburb of Gary, Indiana, the murder capital of the world.
Payne would enter the known turf of a particular gang, make every effort to establish a relationship with the “soldiers” or lower level members of the gang. He would then share the Gospel with them and, if and when an individual made a profession of faith, he would arrange for them to be secreted out of the city by night.
Payne and his teammates had established two safe houses for these individuals. One was in Martin County, the other in Orange County, both in Southern Indiana.
In December, Payne was hospitalized with a condition which would not be properly diagnosed for more than seven years. By the time he was released, the safe house system had been compromised by a false convert and the team was making preparations for a fast move to a new location, wherein the program is still based.
Payne made ready to join his team at the new safe house, however, he felt himself being led elsewhere. Having no vehicle at that point, he threw some clothes in his backpack and walked from French Lick, Indiana to his hometown of Chrisney, in Spencer County.
When he arrived in Chrisney, he found the town had greatly changed from the quiet community he had known in his youth. In fact, one street near the south end of the town had for the most part been taken over by drug dealers and other dealers from as far away as Owensboro, Kentucky were coming to Chrisney to buy drugs.
Payne got together with some old friends who shared his burden to see the town returned to the quiet place it had been. Soon, they started a Bible study on the family’s front porch and after a few meetings their daughter asked him, “Is this our church?”
Payne told her he was not sure what they were supposed to do, so they should pray about it. They did so and two weeks later there were so many people taking part in the study that they could not all fit on the porch.
All of his work since leaving Little Pigeon Church had been of a missionary status and had been overseen by various missions boards, but Payne realized that in order to be biblically sound, the developing church needed to by guided by a board of elders. For this reason, he approached seven men whom he truly believed were walking in the faith and three of them, Brothers Roger Rust, Gary Beertzer and Claude Roos agreed to take on the task.
Payne had a cousin who owned a restaurant in the town and he said the group could meet there on Tuesday nights, since that was when he had the least business. They did so, and two weeks later there were more people there for the study than there were to eat and Payne realized they had their answer.
He moved the meetings to the nature observatory owned by the local school and the group continued to grow, but the sun was setting early, leaving them in the dark. Payne had previously been a 4-H leader in the community, so he contacted the Cooperative Extension office about renting one of their buildings and they told him the church could meet there for free.
So it was that Holy Mountain Mission held its first formal service in a cattle barn, near a manger and Payne told everyone it was the most fitting beginning a church could ever have. The group continued meeting there until the next fall, when the cold temperatures forced the group to move into a garage which had been donated by members of the church.
The garage was quickly gutted, reinsulated and once again the group had a home. However, everyone in the group knew that they were supposed to be witnessing to the lost souls on the street full of drug houses, so Payne took three young men, all of whom had been saved out of the local drug culture and they began knocking on the doors of their old suppliers.
The team continued to preach on the doorsteps of the drug houses and all the while the rest of the group was praying YHWH would open the hearts of the dealers. Eventually, one of the dealers packed up and left town and the owner of the trailer he had worked out of was so glad to have him gone, he offered space for use by the church.
So it was that the group moved to yet another new home and saw their faithfulness greatly rewarded. In their first six months on that street, twenty-seven people got saved, Payne performed eleven baptisms in the town lake and seventeen drug dealers went out of business.
Then, as always happens when believers get comfortable, He shook things up. Payne attended a missions conference at a church in a nearby town and found that many people there had heard of what was happening in Chrisney.
Several asked him the secret to his success and he told them point blank, “We don’t just sit on pews and for something to happen. We pray and then we go out to the problem and allow Him to use us.” By the time the conference was over, Payne already knew that Holy Mountain Mission was like a pregnant woman on the verge of giving birth and the name of her child was Holy Mountain Mission Corps.
It was decided that the elders who had served Holy Mountain Mission so well would be the functional elders of the mission corps, with either the pastor or an assigned elder from each ministry within the body serving as contributing elders. The former would oversee the day to day needs of the organization and the latter would assist them, contribute teachings for circulation through out the organization, give advise on major decisions and, in many cases, serve as mentors for those individuals studying toward ordination.
Soon the members of the mission hit on the idea of establishing Holy Mountain Mobile Mission, which would take the Gospel to various public places, through Bible studies in restaurants and parks, and by standing ready to respond to natural disasters with immediate relief. This, it was decided would constitute the first outreach by Holy Mountain Mission Corps.
A date was set for the launch of the Mobile Mission program, however, YHWH had other plans. Less then twenty-four hours before the scheduled launch, the town of Marengo, Indiana was hit by a tornado which wiped out one half of the town.
When Payne and his crew reached Marengo, they were turned away by the Indiana National Guard and they soon learned that absolutely no relief was being allowed into the town. Payne and his teammates did some fast thinking and creative driving and managed to slip past the soldiers.
They found Brother Ed Conway, pastor of Cedar Street Church, and members of his congregation sifting through the remains of their church building. When asked if he was the pastor, Ed mumbled a “yes” and Payne told him, “Good, because we heard the enemy had you down for the count and we thought we would come offer you some backup.”
Payne’s team made continuous trips back to Marengo, carrying supplies and YHWH’s love to the people of the town. They’re outreach was fully up and running by the time the American Red Cross arrived nine days later.
So began a long relationship with the congregation of Cedar Street Church. Payne took teams back many times to help with the clean up and rebuilding of the church, has been their guest preacher and provided pulpit supply when Brother Ed was out of town and even chose it as the location for his wedding when, on April 10, 2004, he married Leisa Rust, an original member of his mobile mission team.
Later, Payne would take a team to
As the Holy Mountain Mission Corps grew and its original elders began to lose their ability to function in that role due to advanced age and poor health, it became apparent to Payne and his elders that the need existed for the establishment of a method for training up elders and deacons. They proposed the creation of Armor of Light Missionary Academy.
Payne was placed in charge of developing the curriculum. Originally the coursework consisted of three very extensive classes, all of which had to be taken under his supervision or that of one of the elders.
Payne had never questioned the thoroughness of his training under Brother Don, but Brother Gary convinced him that there is no such thing as knowing too much about YHWH and His Word. So it was that in May, 2004, Payne completed the full course of study offered by Jordan Park and a year later he completed the full coursework of Rogma International.
Eventually, the various members of Holy Mountain Mission departed, many to serve YHWH in ministries of their own. When Payne felt so moved, he closed the mission and put his efforts toward further developing the Armor of Light curriculum.
In March, 2005, Payne was asked to candidate for the position of pastor of New Ross Christian Church in New Ross, Indiana. He preached there a number of times and firmly expressed that he was not in agreement with the little church’s doctrine, however, the membership assured him that they were seeking a more Bible based pastor and the elder of the church said he believed Payne was the man YHWH had for the task.
Payne became pastor of the church in April and moved his family to New Ross soon there after. He remained there, preaching the truth of the Word until December of that year. YHWH had used him to grow the church to five times its previous attendance, but most of the original core group had refused to attend discipleship classes and the younger believers were quickly surpassing them in biblical knowledge.
Despite Payne’s attempts to prevent a split in the congregation, the majority of the congregation left with the intention of starting a more biblical church. When the board of New Ross Christian Church agreed to make changes which would make them more in keeping with the Bible, Payne was able to convince some of the members who had left to return.
However, immediately after they returned, the board voted to undo the changes in order to keep their longtime faithful tithers happy and those who had left did so again, this time more hurt than before. Their new church, Guiding Light Bible Fellowship, met in one family’s home and began actively seeking pastoral leadership.
When the board of New Ross Christian Church agreed to not continue some of their former activities as a church, due to Payne’s having taught them of their biblical nature, they once again re-voted in an illegal, unannounced meeting, to go ahead with said activities. At this point, Payne prayed and asked YHWH what he should do.
The following morning he knew there was no way out of it, save that he must stand up for the Truth of the Word and resign as pastor of the church. Before he had completed the writing of his resignation, members from the splinter group approached him about being their pastor.
His former position as pastor of Little Pigeon Church was once again vacant and he had been asked to pray about returning home to serve. He told both congregations that he would pray about the matter and that in the mean time he would provide pulpit supply to Guiding Light Bible Fellowship.
Eventually Little Pigeon Church called Brother Don Jones out of retirement and he continues to serve them as pastor. After four months serving the Guiding Light Bible Fellowship as interim pastor, Payne felt the call to take his family to Lafayette, Indiana, to begin a work among the large homeless community there.
While in Lafayette, the Paynes established Seed of Abraham Teaching Ministry opened their home to any and all, providing shelter, food and YHWH’s promise of salvation to those who repent and turn to Him through his Son. Payne began training two of the homeless men they took in to assist him in his ministry, intending to turn the work over to them when he felt led to move on.
The team went into the woods along the Wabash River and entered the realm of the forgotten people of the region. It is estimated that anywhere from fifty to two hundred people live along that river at any given time.
Payne became well acquainted with many of the homeless there, reaching some with the Gospel, helping some to reestablish ties with long estranged family members. When Lake Tippecanoe burst her dam, the water flowed down the Tippecanoe River, into the Wabash and combined with melting snow to form a virtual lake of ice between Lafayette and West Lafayette, so Payne and his team made a rescue effort to get those hold outs who were still living in the woods out and into s descent shelter.
With their own wards safe and sound, Payne took his two understudies organized a mobile mission team and went up along the Tippecanoe River to assist with the efforts there. To their dismay, no effort had yet been initiated and many residents were left with their clothes on their back, their homes under water and their vehicles swept away in the current.
Payne assigned one of his understudies to organize a donation program to collect clothes, toiletries, canned food and any other items which were needed by the people. This was put together in a matter of days and was the center of local activity when an American Red Cross representative finally showed up a week later.
The Red Cross representative remained in the area for less than one day, then reported to the Office of Homeland Security that everything that could be done for the people of the community had been done. This, while over eight hundred homes were still inaccessible due to flooding.
Payne’s team was on the ground and their outreach running for several weeks, until the local trustee decided they were no longer needed. The people of the town were grateful that the team had stayed when others abandoned them.
Payne remained in Lafayette until he had completed the Armor of Light training of his two understudies, one to the level of elder candidate and the other to the level of deacon. Neither of them chose to be ordained at that time, though they remain eligible at any time and need only to request the laying on of hands by the eldership.
One of those understudies has since relocated to Tennessee, where he is highly active in ministry. The other remains in Lafayette, though he had chosen a path outside of the ministry.
In early 2008, the Board of Elders of Holy Mountain Mission Corps determined the time had come to begin the transition of Armor of Light Missionary Academy to Armor of Light Missionary Academy and College of Pastoral Studies. In conjunction with this decision came the need for yet another expansion and restructuring of the curriculum and Payne was their natural choice to over see the process.
On June 30 of that year, they presented him with the college’s first degree, awarding him the title of Doctor of Applied Theology. Due to ongoing health problems, Payne chose to move Seed of Abraham Teaching Ministry home to Southern Indiana and to dedicate his time to further developing the Armor of Light curriculum and to continuing his career as a writer.
He currently writes a Church and State opinion column for the National Examiner, titled The Good News and the other news. He also has several more book projects in the works.
In September, 2008, he was approached by a former understudy about developing an outreach to the physically and mentally challenged in Southern Indiana. That work came to be called Abraham’s Tent and Payne serves as its resident elder.