10 things you didn't know about Parkway pastor Mike Hurt
Jennifer Lee Preyss
May 2, 2014 at 12:02 a.m.
When he steps away from the Parkway Church lectern, the Rev. Mike Hurt doesn't exactly step down from ministry.
"My life really is a bit of both all the time," he said Sunday, responding to a question about whether he's capable of separating leisure and work. "Ministry is who we are and what we do. It's not a have-to but a want-to."
The Louisiana native - who calls Sugar Land home and Washington, D.C., his home away from home - is committed to serving the Crossroads community and growing the church as widely as possible.
But for those who might not have encountered the teachings and messages of Hurt, here's an up-close view of one of Victoria's most popular pastors and a few details about his life you probably didn't know about.
This is Hurt's second stint working at Parkway. He served as youth pastor from 1994-2000 before rejoining the staff six years ago as senior pastor.
In high school, Hurt was part of a fraternity called ITK, or "I tappa kegga," which he admits was responsible for some mildly unsavory behavior that he participated in before entering ministry, including getting kicked out of school for a couple of days. Hurt said, "I'm probably only one of a few pastors (in the area) who went to an alternative high school in Sugar Land."
Hurt once had paralyzing stage fright. About eight years ago, he said, his stage fright was so severe, his lungs would shut down even while making a brief appearance on stage to make a church announcement. To get over the fear, he said he ate a lot of bananas, did many pre-public speaking pushups and prayed often for Jesus to fill his lungs and use every word. Now, there's no fear when he speaks on stage.
If Hurt wasn't a pastor, he said he would be working in sports broadcasting. Before entering ministry, Hurt was training for a career in broadcast journalism. After becoming involved at the Baptist Student Ministry on campus, he made a decision to transition into ministry. "I joke that my dad raised me to make a lot of money, not to make a lot of difference," he said. "It was a big adjustment, but it was right. ... I've been doing it ever since."
Hurt is a self-professed football fanatic and sports enthusiast. He follows every football team, professional and college, and most basketball teams. He doesn't watch baseball. Hurt said during football season, his wife is a "football widow."
Though Parkway's worship band sings some of the latest Christian pop music, he doesn't listen to Christian music - or any music, he said. When he's listening to the radio, he's listening to all forms of Christian and leadership talk radio, podcasts, Internet streaming, etc.
In high school, Hurt was a league competition bowler. He also worked at a bowling alley, so he could play games for 50 cents. When he was 16 years old, he averaged a 220. He doesn't bowl much anymore, and when he does, it's just for fun.
On Sept. 11, 2001, Hurt was working for McLean Bible Church in the Washington, D.C., area. He was supposed to be having a meeting inside the Pentagon when the 9/11 terrorist plane struck the building. At the last minute, however, his senior pastor called a staff meeting. "I was just amazed that I was almost in the middle of it," he said. "It was a sad and scary day; the skies were silent over D.C. except for the fighter jets."
Hurt said he doesn't use Twitter because he's a creature of habit. "I would tweet the same thing over and over again. That would be pretty boring."
Hurt was invited to George W. Bush's second presidential election night party. He also did a White House tour, met former president George H.W. Bush, and was able to take a photo of his children playing with the president's Scottish terrier puppies in the Rose Garden.