Farmer, trucker, pastor.

Those have been the occupations and callings of Gene Christian, who was recently installed as pastor of Lakeview Baptist Church near Lake Brownwood.

Christian, 58, began filling the pulpit as interim pastor in December, and the church called him as its permanent pastor about three weeks ago. A “Meet the pastor” reception is scheduled for 6 p.m. May 31.

Christian, a bi-vocational pastor, drives an 18-wheeler during the week, hauling pipe out of Houston. He’s able to be home every weekend. He hopes to find a job that will enable him to be home in the evenings.

Though the church is small, he’s encouraged at the number of youth who are interested in learning. “The Lord seems to be working in the youth in our church,” Christian said. “We all feel that the Lord’s hand is in this.”

Christian and his wife, Sherry, moved to Brownwood in 2011 to be near grandchildren who were, at the time, not yet born. Their daughter, Kyra, is married to Brownwood firefighter Evan Owen.

Christian is from the Texas Panhandle, where he farmed and began driving for extra income. “I was saved in First Baptist Church in Texico, New Mexico,” Christian said. “I was 30 years old and I was absolutely fascinated with God’s word.”

He was asked to teach in the youth department and was later encouraged to preach. In 2001, Christian was asked to become the associate pastor of a church in Clovis, N.M., and when the  pastor died, Christian remained as pastor.

In Brownwood, he pastored Avenue D Baptist Church for about two years. That church later closed, and Christian visited Lakeview Baptist to hear the man he thought was going to preach — Richard Jackson. Jackson didn’t preach that Sunday, but the man who preached did a fine job, and Christian was impressed with the warmth and friendliness of the church.

As pastor and teacher, Christian said, “I enjoy, whenever I can, sharing things with people.”

Christian said he’d like to be a full-time pastor some day but “that’s up to the Lord.”

He said he seeks to be faithful and “do whatever the Lord has set before me.”

In addition to their daughter, Kyra, the Christians have two sons — Aaron, of Dallas, and Cade, who lives in Colorado.