Light For Your Path really began in 2001.
Two months after September 11, 2001, Perry Hartman was laid off from his job and was also presented with the good news about what Jesus Christ did as a substitution for him. His earthly life, which began April 10, 1971 and up until 2001, was a life lived able to fulfill every fleshly desire imaginable with no limits, boundaries or authority figures in his life. (Read his pre-Jesus history)
His father-in-law at the time, who was a minister for a non-denominational Pentecostal church called Fullness of Christ Church, Pastored by Dr. Gregory Schroeder out of Lake Villa, Illinois. He asked Perry if he could help Pastor Greg who wanted to buy a new PA Sound System for their church. Being a musician almost all his life, he felt led to assist.
After purchasing the PA System and setting up and advising the Pastor on how to use the system in his home, as he was ready to leave the Pastor asked him if he could come to the service in the morning to make sure that it was working properly. As uncomfortable as that made Perry feel, he felt led to oblige. The next morning Perry arrived before service started and help setup the sound system. As he was getting ready to leave before service started the Pastor said, “Please Perry do you mind staying, if anything goes wrong I won’t know what to do”. Perry said, “Yes”.
One of the items setup was a piece of recording equipment to record the sermons and Perry had the headphones on to make sure the sound was just right and Pastor Greg started off with his sermon entitled. “Why God is so Good.” When Perry heard this he laughed. He laughed because he wondered at that very moment “If God is so good, why did He take my Mother at 7, Father at 17, and a child just a year prior”.
As Pastor Greg continued on with his sermon, the thoughts began to weigh him down about all the bad things that he ever did and the more the Pastor went on about God’s love and forgiveness, the more he began to conclude that it was his lack of understanding God that is what he needed to move forward in his life. The truth is, He was angry at God and for the wrong reasons. At this very moment, Pastor Greg as if he was speaking directly to Perry saying “You could be forgiven for all the things that you’ve ever done and you can receive a new and fresh start right now. THIS WAS GOOD NEWS TO PERRY. With tears in his eyes, he stood up, removed the head phones and proceeded forward to Pastor Greg for prayer.
It was at this very moment that Light For Your Path began and what proceeded was a email devotional entitled Light For Your Path.
Perry began Bible College at Quintessence Bible College and after a year, he got his Associates in Biblical Studies.
For the next few years God began grooming him and building up his faith. After the Fullness of Christ Church, God moved Perry to a church called The Chapel, in Grayslake, Illinois. While visiting the Chapel for the first time, the flyer said WORSHIP AUDITIONS start Monday. Being a drummer he knew this was the place. They were just building an 1100 seat church and for their grand opening services their worship drummer got sick the night before and Perry got to play the drums on their worship team. It was a day he would never forget.
Perry received Stephen Ministry training at The chapel and this would be the last church he and his family of worship he would serve at until the great move to Tennessee.
It was 1:30 am in the morning and Perry remembers being woken up by a whisper that said “Crossville, Tennessee”. He could not believe what he was hearing so he got up, as he did many times in the middle of the night to study. Over the next few days it became quite clear to him through sever persecution, that God was about to make a big move in his life. His former wife at the time came to him and said one of her friends was very sick and she needed to go see her and help her. He asked where and of course she said “Crossville, Tennessee”. At that time, Perry did not tell her what he heard for fear she would think he was crazy.
After his wife’s return from Tennessee she said it was beautiful, affordable, and she thought he would like it. Perry began doing research and said if God provides a job and a place to live we will move. What was about to take place was just one of many miracles that God performed to increase Perry’s faith to where it is today. At that time he was working for Menards in Gurnee, Illinois. There was no Menards in Tennessee but Lowe’s. So he called up Lowe’s and the General Manager answered the phone (not normal, a message system usually answers) and after talking with him about moving, he said he has a position available that opened up just the previous week and would hire me if he moved. Perry hung up and made his way upstairs to tell his wife what happened and as she was walking downstairs she said she called the wrong number and got a place to live.
From Illinois to Tennessee
Perry remember’s that it was by faith alone that carried his family through the move and he new once he arrived in Tennessee it wasn’t going to be an easy transition because anything for the Lord has mechanisms built in to increase one’s faith. There was an accident on I-40 that created a 2.5 hour backup on the interstate but once they got to Cookeville, TN he knew he was in the right place. There was this huge cross and in his Spirit he knew it was the right move.
After finding it very difficult to find a church that was their families style, we found a church called “The Rock” and they were located in Sparta, Tennessee at the American Legion building. It was about 30 minutes from our home and Perry knew the moment he walked in, this was the place. While his wife dropped the kids off at kids church, Perry walked right into the main sanctuary and there was live music worship and he walked right to the front and prostrated himself at God’s alter. As he listened to the Lord through this worship, he knew it was just a matter of time when the Lord would share more.
The following week Perry had lunch with Pastor Duane Graves and God’s plan began to unfold.
Crossville, Tennessee to Doyle, TN
Pastor Duane had a friend, Pastor Buck Martin who was Pastor for Doyle First Baptist Church and Pastor Buck had a parsonage that was empty and because of their relationship Buck offered it to us to use as Perry was in training. There were 2 opportunities for Perry to preach at The Rock and he took them. There was even an opportunity for him to preach at Doyle First Baptist Church and he remembers this day so clearly because of what God did.
It was poring down rain the Sunday he was to preach and after he arrived he and his wife sat in the front row and as Pastor Buck delivered his introduction and introduced Perry a HUGE THUNDER crashed and the power went out and Perry said “In the name of Jesus”, and slammed his hands on the pulpit and the power came on. This is when Perry knew he was right where he needed to be.
Doyle, TN to Sparta, TN
After some time, Perry decided to move to downtown Sparta to be closer to church. Due to circumstances beyond his control but God’s plan, one of the elder’s of The Rock came to Perry one Sunday and said “you need to visit the youth room”. The current youth leader had to resign due to health issues and there was chaos each week. After a few weeks of asking, Perry finally said “Ok” and sat in. The elder was right, so I decided from that point on, I would begin to teach and take over the Youth Pastor position. What was amazing about this is that Pastor Duane, never asked me, it just happened. I spent about 8 months there when God made it crystal clear that He was moving again.
In 2008/2009, the Lord created a divine appointment with a man named Dr. John Roberts. Perry knew it was divine because everywhere he went his name kept popping up. At just the right time, Perry called him. After talking with him for about 3 hours it was decided that Dr. Roberts would invite Perry to visit his church.
After my first visit to Truth Church, Dr. John asked Perry if he would preach there the following Sunday. Perry did and it became clear that this would be Perry’s home for a while. Perry began preaching there more often and in the middle of a church split it was decided by Dr. Roberts that Perry would become Co-Pastor of the Truth Church with Dr. Roberts for a little over a year.
At this time, I had no idea what was God was going to do except teach me that true love (the love of Christ) is not conditional.
Through a client & mutual friend I was introduced to a not-for-profit ministry Grace Evangelistic Ministries.
In 2010, God decided to move me from Sparta, TN to Nashville, TN where I began driving 90 miles each way to work
After 15 years later, thousands of hours of deep Bible Study, Pastoring three churches, and has taught internationally, he now calls himself “an Internet Pastor who makes disciples of every nation identifying them with God The Father, God The Son & God the Holy Spirit.
“For Your Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light for your path.” Psalm 119:105