Pastor Paul Bio

The Call

Pastor Paul GiffordOn February 12, 2001, my life began! From the tender age of 12 years old, I began to experiment with drugs and alcohol on a limited, but frequent (weekend) basis. By the time I hit my senior year of high school I had tried every conceivable illegal narcotic and my life was out of control. I had attempted college with no real dream, I had held good jobs but with no real passion for what I was doing, I had apartments, good cars, and thought that life was good. The final year prior to 2001 was a complete blur. During this time I had lost everything including my family and hope for living. One February night I found myself in a Rhode Island hospital overdosed on pills, cocaine and alcohol. A few hours later I was walking through the front doors of a Teen Challenge center in Brockton, MA – where my life would soon take a drastic change. It was within this place that I realized who I was, where I was going and how I was going to get there. Jesus had met me in this place and began to map out my life. 23 months later I received the call to leave Teen Challenge (having completed and graduated the ministry) and go to Zion Bible College. 3 years later I recieved the call of God to preach the gospel and knew that God was leading me into the pastorate.

February of 2010 marked the beginning of our call to serve as the Lead Pastors. I have humbly responded to the call of God on my life to serve as the Lead Pastor at Toms River Assembly of God. Up until the time of my calling as the Lead pastor, the Lord had been preparing me while serving as the Associate Pastor at Toms River for 3 and 1/2 years.

Family/Education

Gifford KidsMy wife (Deena) and I who were married on January 3, 2004 are graduates of Zion Bible College. I received my degree from Zion with a Major in Biblical Studies and a Minor in Pastoral Ministries. Deena received her degree from Zion with a Major in Biblical Studies and a Minor in Adult Education. I have begun pursuit of my Master’s Degree in Leadership, but that has been halted due to the pursuit of another degree in rasing our three beautiful boys (Nathan, Joshua and Jonathan). Deena has recently begun her pursuit of becoming licensed with the Assemblies of God as a minister of the Gospel. I was officially licensed by the Assemblies of God as a minister of the Gospel on June 2006!

Our Hope and Expectation

We are passionate about seeing the transforming work of the Lord accomplished in people’s lives! We are committed to providing an atmosphere where believers are encouraged through worship, discipleship, evangelism and compassion. My heart is to build trust, unify the body and mobilize the believer(s) to accomplish our God-given vision and mission that He has called this church to.

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