Budding in Idaho
Incoming residents help Christian Faith Center to expand.Jordan M. Hodges is an imposing presence, physically and vocally. The deep-voiced lead pastor of Christian Faith Center (CFC) in Nampa, Idaho, stands 6 feet, 8 inches.
He knows he is blessed to not only be leading a multisite Assemblies of God congregation, but also to be alive at all. At 19, while incarcerated for selling methamphetamines, Hodges converted to Christ and walked away from the drug addiction that nearly killed him. Earlier he injected as much as $1,000 of meth a day. He nearly went into cardiac arrest as police moved in to arrest him for his involvement in selling drugs for a gang.
The road to rehabilitation began humbly. After Hodges spent nearly two years behind bars, then-lead pastor Monty R. Sears offered him a janitorial job at CFC. Hodges took Global University courses and advanced to the point of becoming lead pastor in 2019. Sears, who has been involved in ministry for 32 years, has moved to the position of legacy pastor at the church, which, in part, involves mentoring younger staff pastors. He also continues as assistant superintendent of the AG’s Nampa-based Southern Idaho Ministry Network, a role he’s held for 13 years.
CFC is comprised of six churches in four locations of Idaho’s Treasure Valley: the main campus in Nampa (which includes a Spanish congregation), Oroville, Boise, and Caldwell (which includes a Slavic congregation). Over all the venues, 2,000 people show up in person each Sunday. Church Multiplication Network (CMN) Matching Funds through AGTrust helped finance the launch of the Caldwell and downtown campuses.
Treasure Valley is one of the fastest-growing regions of the nation. People, especially Californians, are flocking to the area for a variety of reasons, including lower taxes, more affordable housing, plentiful work, abundant recreational activities, and stronger family values.
“While not everyone moving to the area is Christian, they align with Christian values,” says the 35-year-old Hodges, who has lived in the area since the age of 8. “Many think they are moving away from toxic culture.” A number of Ukrainian refugees are part of the influx.
Hodges calls his relationship with high school sweetheart Amanda a Cinderella story, albeit the Brothers Grimm version.
“We went down the same road together in same party lifestyle, but she didn’t get caught,” Jordan recalls. During his confinement, Amanda also had an encounter with the Lord.
“I knew when I got out, the only thing I didn’t want to change about my life was her,” Hodges says.
The couple married 15 years ago, when Jordan was 20 and Amanda 19. They have two sons, 11-year-old Jeremiah and 6-year-old Jabin.
Hodges considers Sears a spiritual father, someone who trained him so he could eventually train others. About once a month, Hodges is out speaking at other churches around the country. His powerful testimony is typically a part of the message. He also occasionally serves as a table coach at CMN Launch Training events.
“Our scars are never a hindrance to what God wants to do through us,” Hodges says. “Woundedness can be redeemed; it doesn’t disqualify us. What I went through is the very platform God uses to give me influence.”
Sears is grateful for the seamless leadership transition and is pleased that CFC has continued to grow. He notes that most of the new attendees are recent converts to Christ, reflective of both the gripping testimony and bold evangelism of Hodges. He says CFC is focused on redemption.
“We find God’s purpose on the other side of pain,” says Sears, 63. “For his age, pastor Jordan is a tremendous communicator and a strategic visionary.”
Sears is glad that Amanda ministers side by side with Jordan, just as his wife, Kelli, has done with him.
“Pastor Jordan’s heart for the lost and passion for the Lord oozes out of him,” says Sears, who also serves as a CMN innovate cohort leader for the AG’s Arizona Ministry Network. “He has a bold, courageous spirit and a strong anointing that leads him to stop people he doesn’t know on the street to pray for them.”
Early this year, CFC launched a vision to be in 10 locations and see 10,000 people come to Christ in five years. Hodges anticipates adding a Spanish-language congregation in Boise in the spring.
“I’m a chief example of God’s grace,” Hodges says. “If God can use me, He can use anybody.”