July 3, 2012 — When the Chamber of Commerce recently presented its 2012 “Service Above Self Award” to Jeff Fannin, it was noted that the pastor of Bluebank Church of God practices what he preaches.
His service to others has involved him in outreach activities in this community, in the country and across the world.
"At the end of the day, knowing that I helped change someone's life for the better is the most rewarding feeling," Fannin said.
In addition to his pastoral duties, he is also known locally for his food ministry that began in 1990 and also for the 30-year history of the Morehead Dial-A-Prayer.
The prayer service is a hotline that troubled persons anywhere in the world can call for a two-minute devotional and a prayer.
"It gives people the opportunity to leave prayer requests, to gain inspiration and know that there are people who care about them," Fannin said.
The local Dial-A-Prayer hotline is ranked second when searched on Google because of the thousands of people it reaches.
"It is a unique and helpful ministry," Fannin said, "Dial-A-Prayer is available 24 hours a day."
Fannin, who is married to the former Tammy Stevens, is the proud father of three sons and two daughters.
He served on the board of “A Helping Hand” which inspired him to become involved in missionary work in China, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Guatemala.
Fannin also serves on the Board of DOVES of Gateway Domestic Violence Services Center for men, women and children.
As a DOVES board member, he was instrumental in obtaining $1.2 million to provide homes for domestic violence victims.
He also serves on the board of the Gateway Children's Advocacy Center and has served as a volunteer in the pastoral care department at St. Claire Regional Medical Center since 1983.
He also enjoys supporting the Community Soup Kitchen while managing the Bluebank Church food ministry which also supports other churches by helping to supply food for outreach services.
"I really like to help other people." he says with a smile. "Often just by looking into a person's eyes you can see they have a need. Everyone has their own personal issues and many times just listening to them can make a big difference."
Fannin is also involved with Abba's Hands and The Way ministry in which he works closely with Steve Taylor of Morehead to provide assistance to pastors, supports orphanages, Christian schools and helps to rescue children from sex slavery.
“It's a life-changing experience," Fannin said. "No one really knows what it is like until you have been on a mission trip and see the faces of those in bondage."
"The easier question is what does he not do?"
That is how Tabitha Hardin of Good Shepherd's Printing describes her boss.
Fannin says Good Shepherd's Printing Service was established to help fund the local ministries and now attracts business from all over the U.S.
"We help many different non-profit organizations by printing for them at cost and many times for free," Fannin said. It is obvious that the Good Shepherd's Printing Service is much more than just a normal printing company. It is an outreach to those in need."
Displayed prominently in his office are the Ten Commandments, several Bible verses and pictures of his family. He says the displays reflect his personal values and church commitments.
Fannin is quick to tell anyone that the work is not about him personally and that he wants to be used of the Lord to help others.
"It is my goal in life for others not to see me, but to see Jesus Christ living in me," Fannin said.
"If the ministries are really important to us, then we should be willing to work hard to make things happen."
Fannin said many other pastors in Rowan County deserve recognition for what they do because pastors have very demanding positions. “I want my fellow pastors to know that I appreciate all they do to make our county, country and world a better place in which to live," he added.
Bonnie Dailey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 784-4116.