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Steve Payne
 

Hello, my name is Pastor Pizza. I wasn’t always Pastor Pizza. I was born back in 1954 in Fort Knox, Kentucky. We lived in Louisville, Kentucky where I was named Steve Payne. My mama taught us everything there was to know, everything she could, about Jesus Christ. My mama would eat, sleep, and drink Jesus Christ.

When I got into high school I went to a public high school and I got exposed to a lot of other things. And I always knew what the right thing was, I knew that Jesus Christ was the way. But, I also saw some of the stuff them other kids was doing, and it looked kind of fun. I started smoking when I was about sixteen years old, and at eighteen I started drinking.

When I was like twenty-one I got married. I had this girl and we were going to move in together and we were going to shack up and, you know, live together for a while. And I was so convicted in my heart that that was the wrong thing to do that I said, “You know, we should just get married.” I did not love her; I just wanted the free sex.

So we got married, we started going back to church, she didn’t really like it, she would go just because I was going. And so we thought, maybe if we have a baby it’ll patch things up and we’ll get along better. So we tried that, and I was married for about six years and finally I’m like, “You know, this is not worth it, it isn’t going to work, I don’t love her, I don’t know if she loves me or not, but this just isn’t working.”  And I told her that “I just can’t take it, and I’m leaving.” So I packed up the kids and I left.

Then I kind of turned my whole back on God. I’m like “You know what? I can’t do this and according to the Catholic religion I’m going to hell anyway, because I divorced my wife.” So I’m like; “Well, if I’m going to hell anyway, I might as well go with a smile on my face.”

So I started drinking and I started running around again, different women every other night, and I was having a good time. But, you know, I felt that inside of me, “Man, what you’re doing ain’t right.”

So I got a job, I was working at Target. And what I did for them is I went around, when they set up a new store, I would travel to that location, all over the country. And what I would do is set up all the fixtures in the store and merchandise the store, and when I got done I turned the keys over to the manager and I’d go set up another one.

Well I remember I was in St. Louis, Missouri and there was this girl there. And while we were all out carousing and having a good time a lunch, she was sitting up there reading her bible. Her name was Barbara, Barbara Kilgore. And I began to talk to this girl. When I met this girl something inside of me said “You know what? This is your soul mate.” But then I’m thinking, well once you’re divorced that’s it, you can’t remarry, you just can’t do it.

So, she invited me to go to church with her one time. And we began to talk, and she began to tell me about God. So we struck up an even closer relationship. I had only known her thirty days and I asked her to marry me.

And so we started attending church. And we were the type of Christians that, I like to sit on the back row and get my nap in real quick while the pastor is preaching. Then in 1993 a man named Dave Wilkerson came to our church and he preached about street ministry. And I thought, “Man! This is Jesus preaching what this man is doing.” So we began helping this guy Pat Imbimbo with the ministry, and going to church, and that was our thing now.

In 1995 there was this revival going on in Pensacola, Florida. I don’t remember the sermon but the part that I do remember was at the end of the sermon, John Kilpatrick stood up and he said, “You really think that you’re right with God. But I’m here to tell you that you need more of God in your life. And I’m telling you right now, if that’s you, if you need more of God in your life you need to get down to these alters just as fast as you can.” I’m telling you, something just slapped me right in the face, I was the third person to that alter, from the very back of the building.

So, I remember when I got down to the alter I knelt down there on the steps and I prayed. And this lady comes back up to me and she says “Sir, God said to tell you that your sins are forgiven.” I could not only feel the presence, but I could see the presence of God. And I was like “Man! This is the most awesome thing I have ever seen.”

After a few years Pat had decided to fold the ministry. But Barb and I were talking and we were like “You know, I really hate to stop doing our site.” And we built two trailers and we began to do our sidewalk Sunday school site there. And in 2000, we decided to incorporate, so we incorporated as Metro Sidewalk Ministries in the year 2000. And we began to launch out in other sites. We provide all of the trucks for Pastor Bill Wilson, he has eighteen of these trucks that go out on a daily basis.

But God has just done a miraculous thing in my life. He brought me from sleeping in the back pew, to the stage. And let me tell you something, if you knew me from when I was sleeping and you knew me now, you would think they were two totally different people. But I give all the glory to God because it is through His grace and His mercy that I am able to do what I do.

 

 
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