- Faith & Family
Most pastors confessed that the pulpit was not their first career choice. For Minister Oscar Chestnut, the aversion to the pulpit was so strong that he decided to share the burden with his brother.
“I was happy just being the assistant pastor,” explained the 64-year old minister.
Chestnut founded New You Ministries of Life in Hollywood over 12 years ago with his brother. However, after his brother became ill seven years ago, Chestnut found himself assuming more responsibilities. Eventually, he became the de facto senior pastor.
“God has a way to get people right where he wants you to be,” explained the 64-year old minister. “Well, now I wonder what took me so long to really do it because it’s been a beautiful experience.”
A new you
Since it was founded over a decade ago, services can now draw up to 100 people every week.
The name ‘New You Ministries’ was coined by his brother and it encompasses how everyone should approach life.
“[My brother] said that there is a you and there is a new you that wants to take care of the old you,” Chestnut explained. “It means you should always reach higher.”
For the church, that mission translates into having an youth-oriented Outreach Ministry.
“[Young people] are our future and they tend to benefit a lot more from these lessons than most adults,” Chestnut. “ Let me put it this way, when you’re dealing with children they are more open to what it is that you are saying about how they can go about fixing their problems themselves, but when you are dealing with adults they ask ‘well what can you do to fix my problem.’”
New You Ministries lessons often aim to teach youth how to handle a wide variety of problems from resisting peer pressure to finding employment.
The needs of one, the needs of others
Although Chestnut, a retired insurance salesman, juggles the demands of the full-time ministry himself, he also receives help from his family. Often his wife, Joanna, of 21 years, and his son, a deacon in the church, help him bear the load.
Their assistance helps “take the pressure off of me,” the pastor said.
Chestnut has also made sure to receive support form his fellow brothers in ministry and is a member of local ministerial organizations. One of his favorite group allows the ministers to fellowship and vacation together.
“Every two years, we take a major trip and forget about what we do and it really helps take the stress off,” he said.
They have traveled to destinations as exotic as Finland, Russia, Israel, and Turkey.
According to Chestnut, “I think that taking a trip is one of the best things a pastor can do for them self.”
New You Ministries of Life, Inc. is located at 1006 SW 56th Avenue in Hollywood.
By Kaila Heard