by George Hippe
I accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as my Savior at the age of nine, July 27, 1958. I knew from the time I was eleven that I was to be in full time ministry as a Pastor or missionary. I prepared in high school, college and seminary to that end. I considered the mission field of Peru, but God made in clear to me that one of the hardest “mission fields” in the world is the United States. Many have heard the Gospel, but never really listened. That was the challenge that God impressed on my mind and heart.
I promised my wife, Diane, before we were married that I would probably never be the senior pastor of a church but an assistant or associate. I told her we would probably never own a home, meaning that we would move a lot and that I was never going to “retire.” I have kept most of those “promises.” God did give us our home in the Spokane Valley where we have lived since 1991. Our twenty-five year ministry in six churches across the United States in Minneapolis, MN, Redondo Beach, CA, Johnson City, TN, Rockford, IL, San Francisco, CA and Spokane, WA prepared us for God’s final calling on our lives through Eagle Summit. The variety of responsibilities of ministry over the years provided me with the experience needed to meet the challenges of our present calling.
Around the fall of 1994, I was asked, “If you could do anything in ministry, what would you do?” I began to give that some serious thought and focused on how exciting and challenging it would be to travel the Inland Northwest and help any Pastor who needed assistance. I was impressed with the fact that this was an unmet need. The Northwest is the most un-churched area in our country. These facts added to the challenge. I was not certain about the details of that challenge, but I seriously began to pray and think about details. In that time period a fellow Pastor shared with me that four men in full time ministry he knew personally, one his brother-in-law and one with whom I attended Bible College, these men took their own lives.
With whom can a Pastor share his heart? With whom can he be transparent? With whom can he share his personal concerns and challenges? Who does he ask for help when he needs help? A Pastor had told me early on in ministry that you cannot be in full time ministry and have a close friend. I looked him directly in the eyes and said, “I refuse to live that way.” What that Pastor believed to be the truth was a lie. I found out latter that he believed that because there was sin in his life that he could allow no one to learn of and sin which he refused to acknowledge or correct. The truth is that we need to be transparent and accountable. Sin looses its power when it is confessed and exposed to the light of truth. We need to challenge and encourage one another. I believe that we have lost our influence in our culture because we have lost power in our pulpits. We have lost power in our pulpits because we lack purity. We all know the stories of how many nationally known men have fallen into sexual and financial sin. The enemy is clever and powerful. If Satan can influence a man of God to fall, the negative ripple effect is great, at times generating a tsunami of destruction.
Eagle Summit was “hatched” in October of 1996. Mr. Ray Eberle, a Christian lawyer here in the Valley, gave us office space for our first six months of existence and helped us with incorporation as a 501 (c) (3) non-profit ministry. Mr. Eberle has continued to rent us office space for a minimal charge for more than a decade.
Things as simple as pulpit supply or help in sitting down with a church board to discuss church health and healthy team development or how to budget, special outreach in a community, these were just a few things that have developed over the years.
This Significance of Our Eagle Summit Logo
This is our son Ben’s design and artwork. This keeps him ever a part of our ministry. Since his death in an automobile accident in 2002, this is a personal reminder of the joy of relationships that lies ahead in eternity.
The eagle soaring above the mountains . . . We have the power through Christ to overcome the pull of sin and death and soar to new heights. It is only as we rely on power from the Spirit of God that we can begin to see new vistas and gain an eternal perspective.
28 Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable.
29 He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength.
30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall,
31 But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.
The mountains symbolize the struggles that are replete in our lives. We have been promised problems and valleys. It is the updrafts from the warmth of God’s love that facilitate our ability to rise above the problems of life and begin to see things from God’s perspective. The mountains are also a reminder that for every valley, there are two peaks.
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (NKJ)
The broken “I” – a constant reminder of the need to battle pride in our lives and focus on the eternal rather than the temporal.
“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart– these, O God, You will not despise.” (NKJ)
The all encompassing sun in the background is a reminder of the light that we are to share with a dying and needy world through the local church. It is also a reminder of the Son, Who gave His life for the church – God’s designed means to reach a lost world.