Millennial of the Year

Delivering the message

Rev. Fegins set his career path early in life

Rev. Michael Fegins is known for delivering high-energy effective sermons.
Photo by St. Clair Murraine

By St. Clair Murraine
Outlook Staff Writer

Before he could put words together correctly, Michael Fegins began telling his parents that his destiny is to become a preacher.

When he wasn’t telling Michael and Linda Fegins the life he wanted to lead, he’d take over any space in their Jacksonville home where he could mimic what he saw his pastor do at St. John Missionary Baptist.

“From the shout, to preaching and mannerisms,” Fegins said, describing what he took away from watching his minister. “That’s how it played out for me.”

Fegins’ faith obviously hasn’t waned from the days he told his parents his intentions as a 3-year-old, who is their only child. He has gone on to preach hundreds of sermons, starting at age 14 when he began working with his pastor C.E. Preston.

For almost a decade now, Fegins, 28, has been associated with Bethel Missionary Baptist Church. He is an assistant to Rev. RB Holmes and he also has a lengthy list of responsibilities, including working with young people in the church.

Fegins carries out his assignments in such an effective way that his multi-tasking abilities earned him the distinction of being named Millennial of the Year by the Capital Outlook. 

Fegins is among a group of individuals, a business and a church selected for recognition by the Capital Outlook.

 “I am genuinely humbled that I would be considered for that,” Fegins said. “I give praise, honor and glory to God. I thank Pastor Holmes for that and I thank those who are involved in this work of acknowledging millennials and young adults who are doing the work in the community.”

Fegins is pastoring in an era where churches are putting an emphasis on raising the next generation of preachers. However, those who know him say he is more than showmanship or any other traits that his peers might demonstrate.

He is tenacious, yet committed to effective preaching, said Craig Simmons, Dean of Students at Bethel Christian Academy, where Fegins is chaplain.

“When he comes up and gives that message, he brings that energy with him,” Simmons said. “He understands that he has to be animated to keep these young men engaged but at the same time stick to the word. He is a dynamic young brother.”

Each sermon takes time that Fegins finds to ensure he is on point from the pulpit.

“The challenge for me at times is trying to draw out whatever is in the text and put it in front of people in a way that they can understand it and that is relatable to them,” Fegins said. “Thankfully as I pray and I study, God gives me examples or ways to make it relatable to people.”

As much as Fegins was driven by what he calls a “divine calling, he managed a life similar to most teenagers while growing up in his native Jacksonville. He wrestled for the University Christian School team. When football and baseball were in season, he played those , too.

His experience at University Christian was an instrumental part of his upbringing because of the experiences that he still cherishes.

“It was very influential,” he said of the years that he attended the Christian school. “It was a blessing because it taught me the importance of God’s work in my life; no matter how young or seasoned I may become.”

After completing two years of studies at Florida State College at Jacksonville, Fegins moved to Tallahassee attend Florida State University. At the suggestion of Rev. Preston, Fegins sought mentorship from Holmes. 

He proved a fast study and by the time he’d earned a bachelor’s degree management from FSU in 2015, he was already involved in Bethel’s youth ministries. Holmes mentored him along the way.

Fegins’ work as a minister is “transforming the lives of people for the glory of God and the good of this community,” Holmes said. “Many times he has gone above and beyond the call of duty in offering the hope and love of Jesus Christ for our young people as they grow up in an unsteady and confusing world.”

Fegins followed up his years at FSU with more studies to complete his credentials. First he earned a Masters of Divinity, then got a he got a Doctor of Ministry Degree from United Theological Seminary.

Even through those years, he took time to preach. Each opportunity to do so helped him “to encourage the congregation, point them to Jesus Christ,” Fegins said.

The scriptures are always a focal point of Fegin’s sermons.

That tact helps him “to approach things with the heart of Christ in the sense of learning to meeting people where they are and encourage them with God’s word, point them to Christ and how Christ can help them in whatever season it is,” he said. “In those preaching moment, learning from pastor Holmes has helped me to learn to give people the hopeful message of Christ and also to help guide them through the word of God.”

Fegins’ influence on the students is obvious every day, said Simmons.

“What I admire the most about him is he is a young pastor and he is very compassionate,” Simmons said. “He is very knowledgeable about the Bible and he is very committed to changing lives.

“I see him walk into my classroom and my kids are saying ‘I want to do the prayer today.’ To see these young Black boys getting so involved in learning about the scriptures and wanting to volunteer and become a part of that is absolutely amazing.”

Fegins at a glance

Here is a glimpse of Rev. Michael Fegins’ responsibilities as an assistant minister at Bethel Missionary Baptist Church:

  • Director of Children’s and Youth Ministries
  • Dean, Chaplain, and Sports Director of the Bethel Christian Academy Boys Academy
  • Weekly host of  the Saturday radio show on 95.3.FM “Millennial Perspectives”
  • Weekly Monday Motivational Devotions on Facebook “Live”
  • Citywide Prayer Group to Stop the Violence
  • Participant in various press conferences addressing civic and social justice issues
  • Authored a daily devotional for Millennials
  • Authored a daily devotional for young people during COVID-19 isolation

 Pastoral Support:

  • Weekly worship leader for Sunday morning worship
  • Visitation to the sick and shut-in at home, in hospitals, and convalescent facilities
  • Assists with Baptisms and training new converts
  • Preaching and teaching the word of God
  • Coordination of Collegiate, new members, and youth ministries
  • Funerals and bereavement

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