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He's ready to answer whenever God calls

During his 40-hour work week, Charles P. Hayes makes administrative decisions at Central Florida Community College in Ocala. But on Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights he can be found preaching the gospel at a local Baptist church.

Hayes, 55, started pastoring at the First Baptist Church of Chassahowitzka in January, because the other pastor left the church to further his education.

This dual responsibility can be exhausting sometimes, but Hayes, vice president of administration at CFCC and interim pastor at First Baptist, says he wouldn't have it any other way.

"Pastoring is demanding, but it is also extremely satisfying. There is enormous reward that comes when God works in peoples' lives. To see people mature and develop the kind of behavior that is considered "Christian' as a way of life, is wonderful," Hayes said.

"I really get more from pastoring than I put into it. It has helped me to have more structure in my own spiritual life and . . . being a pastor has also helped me to develop sympathy for and empathy with people, that I couldn't have gotten in another role," he said.

"Most of the people in the church service are older people; it is not a mixed congregation. The older people are a different challenge; they tend to be easier to preach to but harder to change.

"When you see them responding to new ideas or new ways of doing things in terms of their spiritual relationship, that is real significant growth which brings its own challenge and reward," he said.

Hayes is not new to the fields of education or pastoring. His formal preparation, for his dual career of an administrator and pastor, was quite extensive.

He attended Central Bible College and Evangel College in Missouri, Florida State University and the University of Florida. He majored in psychology, minored in religion and earned a graduate degree in education.

Hayes has also had informal training for the ministry since he was a child. He was born and raised in a minister's home. His father, 81, recently resigned from his last formal position in June after preaching for 57 years. His grandfather was a minister and his stepbrother, brother and brother-in-law serve as ministers.

Before obtaining a job at CFCC 10 years ago, he worked as an administrator in the Citrus County School Board office.

While working in Citrus, he was ordained as a minister by his home church, First Baptist Church of Inverness.

Shortly before being ordained, Hayes took his first pastorate, which lasted about 8{ years. Since then, he has filled in as interim pastor for a couple of local Southern Baptist churches.

"I have never worked full-time as a minister, always part-time. But you really don't work part-time either, you are always on call," he said.

To avoid taking away from his administrative position at the college, Hayes says he arranges the church activities around his college schedule. "You just keep two calendars and . . . arrange both schedules so that they complement each other."

How long does Hayes plan on keeping two calendars?

"I have no reason to not expect to do this the rest of my life, because it is a calling. I didn't choose this; it is something that I feel very, very strongly that God wants me to do. Until he removes that direction from my life, I will continue to pastor."

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