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Pastor: ‘We roll up our sleeves and get dirty’

Ricky Breazeale preaches livestream these days from the porch of his rural Wesson home. He and his wife Jessica teach a nightly Bible study on Facebook from their porch or back patio.

When COVID-19 restrictions lessen, their congregation, CenterPoint in Brookhaven, will meet in a remodeled building at 640 Halbert Heights Rd. The non-denominational congregation has met in a former church’s building since CenterPoint was planted seven years ago.

The mission of CenterPoint is to be a life-changing movement through Jesus Christ.

Breazeale prefers to call CenterPoint a movement, he said, using a Greek word that translates to a movement of people who gather to follow Jesus.

The Ellisville native preaches on Sundays after a live worship service led by Christopher “Topher” Brown, formerly of The Band Perry.

Breazeale didn’t set out to be a pastor.

“I came from a broken home and I was a bit of a troublemaker,” he said.

“I thought church was a bunch of hypocrites.”

At age 17, while his mother was on her honeymoon, his new brother-in-law called, saying he had an unexplainable urge to check on him. They’d only spoken briefly twice before.

“I started bawling, and drove over to his house,” Breazeale said.

“He shared the gospel with me and it really resonated with me. I thought, ‘if I don’t accept this grace, love and acceptance, I’m an idiot!’”

At college, he told a Baptist Student Union leader that he felt called to ministry. The leader told him to preach at the next BSU meeting.

“I was really nervous, but once I got started, it just flooded out of me naturally,” Breazeale said. “It was a great feeling to know that God could do that through me. That’s when I knew God wanted to use me.”

Breazeale played baseball while studying at Jones County Junior College, William Carey University and Belhaven University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in leadership development. He earned a master’s degree at Liberty University.

He has been a full-time youth pastor at First Baptist of Petal, and an associate college pastor at Temple College and First Baptist of Jackson. He was also a youth pastor in Anniston, and helped plant a church there.

He moved to Gulfport through his job with Service Partners, an insulation distributor, and helped plant a church in Gulfport.

The Breazeales moved to Wesson while his father-in-law was dying of cancer. Breazeale’s mother-in-law owns 28 acres and needed help.

Breazeale, his wife and son Walker, now 8, began attending CenterPoint. He became the pastor about two years ago.

“We roll up our sleeves and get dirty,” he said. “We go outside the walls of the church and spread the gospel and help others.”

Ladies of the church, for example, are sewing masks for emergency workers.

Breazeale’s hobbies are family time, hunting, fishing and baseball.

His favorite Bible verse, is John 13:15 (New Living Translation):

“Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”

 

Story by Robin Eyman