David Felter serves the Church of the Nazarene as general editor, Holiness Today editor in chief, and NCN News senior editor. He pastored for 21 years in Iowa, California, Oklahoma, Indiana, and Kansas. Since 1985, he has held denominational assignments as education program manager, coordinator of Evangelism Ministries, executive editor of Adult Sunday School Curriculum, director of Adult Ministries/Lay Training, and director of Communications Services. He and his wife, Sandra, have two married sons, David and Jib, and five grandchildren.
Where were you born?
What was it like being the child of an itinerant evangelist?
It was amazing. Every night, while I was sitting in a revival service, God was always a powerful reality from whom I could never escape. The road was always changing, never boring, sometimes lonely, and frequently filled with the most wonderful, incredible people.
What was your most memorable ministry trip?
South Africa in 2003.
Do you have a favorite scripture passage?
What's something we'd be surprised to know about you?
I knew whom I would marry at age 15, and nearly 50 years later, that decision remains confirmed.
If you didn't have a ministerial career, what might you have done?
Since I don't think driving a race car would have panned out, probably a college or university professor.
Which talent or skill would you like to have?
I would love to play the piano in a Pentecostal church or the guitar in a Blues band.
How has being the Holiness Today editor in chief affected your view of the church?
The Church of the Nazarene is like an unfinished tapestry of fine linen in which the destiny of the church is hinted at by looking at the landmarks of the past. The choice before us is clear: Our preferred future can only be built upon the convictions, sacrifices, and commitments made on our behalf by the giants upon whose shoulders we stand.
Explain your role as general editor.
Every manuscript published by Beacon Hill Press comes across my desk to be read and evaluated. I read, write, review, and work with every form of communication.
What author has most inspired you?
I should say John Wesley, but the truth is I always liked the late John R. W. Stott. Meeting him one time at Southern Nazarene University revealed a confidence that my faith in him had not been misplaced.
What are you currently reading?
Road and Track for relaxation. Right now, Frederica Mathewes-Green's The Illumined Heart: The Ancient Christian Path of Transformation. Her Orthodox insights challenge and inspires me.
What is your favorite way to relax?
Anywhere, anytime surrounded by my wife, children, and grandchildren.
Most used tech device?
Can't live without my iPhone, iPad, and laptop.
Word or phrase you overuse?
With what biblical character do you most identify?
Saint Peter. I know what it means to be changeable, but I also know what it means to give all you have for a friendship.
What can the church learn from young people?
Passion is still abundant but it must be reciprocated with a genuine responsiveness that embraces them with stone-cold honesty, judgment-day candor, and Calvary-soaked compassion.
What living person would you most like to meet?
Billy Graham. I would love to listen to his stories.
Do you have a life motto?
'If it's to be, it's up to me.'
How was it raising two boys in a parsonage?
As a pastor I wanted them to know the story of the people of God. When they were young, I took them with me as I called upon the elderly saints of God. Sitting still may have been accomplished only because the saints gave them cookies and milk. But the stories of God's people fused the faith of our home-life with their personal decisions to follow Christ.
What habit would you like to change in yourself?
I can't quit until the job is done, plus I'm a perfectionist. I need to learn to chill a bit and go with the flow.
Who mentored you?
I've been blessed with some great ones. The well-known were district superintendents: Ken Vogt, B. G. Wiggs, Marselle Knight, and Bill Sullivan. The more obscure were laypersons: A Samoan, Brother Rogers, in California, a salt-of-the-earth friend named Dallas in Indiana, and too many others to name.
What's your idea of a perfect day?
Coffee on the deck, in July, watching the sun come up and listening to the birds sing. Then off to the golf course where I'd shoot par, and come back home for Sandy's chicken-fried steak.
Holiness Today, March/April 2012