During the course of 37 years as senior pastor at Providence Baptist Church in Raleigh, North Carolina, David Horner pursued ministry shaped by one word - equipping. Based on Ephesians 4:11-12, he saw his pastoral calling as a simple one: "...for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ."
In order to fulfill that calling, God provided the means, the content for equipping, in His Word. Therefore, coupled with Ephesians 4:12, Paul's commendation of Scripture in 2 Timothy 3:16–17 defined not only the calling but the content of an equipping ministry. Paul wrote, "All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work."
With that foundation, Equipped for Life grew into a passion to see followers of Jesus Christ become mature in Him, prepared through the ministry of the Word to live in every way in a "manner worthy of Him" (Ephesians 4:1). Equipping involves teaching, training and modeling. So now Equipped for Life carries on a dream birthed during the years of David's pastoral ministry. The opportunity to extend the reach of this equipping ministry beyond the walls of the local church has now become a reality.
Back in 1978, Providence Baptist Church began in Raleigh, North Carolina with 12 families. None of the twelve, including their pastor, David Horner and his wife Cathy, had any idea what was in store. Reaching a peak of over 3000 worship attendees in the early 2000's, Providence continued to focus on glorifying Christ as a principle-based ministry. Her vision was never to be a mega-church so planting churches became a part of her DNA--never a destination but a launch-pad! For Providence, the goal was never how many they could seat but how many they could send!
Therefore, over the years, Providence sent out hundreds of her members to plant new local churches. Hundreds more embraced the call of Christ to take the gospel to the ends of the earth as missionaries. Thousands more engaged in short-term missions ventures, from the neighborhoods to the nations carrying the message of God's redeeming grace in Jesus Christ.
Equipping the saints for the work of ministry was the bedrock, the foundation for that local congregation. Out of that context, Equipped for Life was born.
Equipped for Life Leadership Team
David Horner, founder and Executive Director of Equipped for Life since 2016, served as senior pastor of Providence Baptist Church from 1978 until he retired at the end of 2015.
Rarely do young men get to work alongside the kind of godly and gifted mentors David met in his early years as a follower of Christ. Disciple-making, evangelistic, creative, loving faithful people invested in him, helped him grow and develop a deep hunger for the Lord. A pattern of succession found in Scripture played itself out in the way others passed the baton to him.
That pattern contributed to a lifetime of engagement with other leaders and with potential leaders, seeking to pour into them the legacy he received. Years of practical ministry experience have given David a unique perspective. The opportunity to study at Wake Forest University (BA), Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (MDiv), and more recently Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (PhD), have added a breadth of knowledge to the strong spiritual legacy Christ has entrusted to him.
Equipped for Life provides a new platform from which to give to others as others once gave to him. He sums up the aim of his call to an equipping ministry in the words of Paul, "...that we may present everyone complete in Christ" (Colossians 1:28).
BA, Wake Forest University, 1974
MDiv, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, 1977
PhD, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2018
BA, UNC-Chapel Hill, 1973
A gifted Bible teacher and mentor, Cathy Horner has impacted generations of women in a wide variety of leadership roles over the years. Serving with amazing skill and an indefatigable spirit, Cathy has proved what hard work and a profound love for Christ can mean in the life of a local church.
Many people outside of Providence Baptist church have no idea of the legacy she has cultivated. For over 32 years she has taught weekly Bible studies for women, largely focused on biblical exposition. An avid student of the Word, she has excelled in getting women to see the excellencies of Christ in Scripture. In addition to her Bible study teaching role, she began an annual Women's Conference that reached thousands of women in this region for over 30 years Then 27 years ago she developed a Women's Ministry Council to oversee that important ministry at Providence, 16 years ago introduced a mentoring ministry, and for many years has spoken overseas in places like Korea, Zimbabwe, Ghana, India, Romania, Ukraine, Jordan as well as here in the United States.
She has shared in teaching many marriage conferences and retreats with David over the years and is regularly sought out by women desiring her seasoned wisdom and godly, biblical counsel.
As an English teacher by training (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill–Phi Beta Kappa), her gifts also include writing and editing. She has contributed to a couple of Women's devotional books as well as writing an occasional article.
All of this she has done while serving tirelessly alongside David, in both home and church life! Great days of ministry lie ahead for her with Equipped for Life!
Farewell Worship Service at Providence -- January 2016
A few weeks after David officially "retired" from Providence, the church gave a wonderful celebration worship service in their honor. Below you can watch what was a truly memorable evening!
Preaching Mentors and Coaches
Qualified and experienced mentors and coaches will be added to the EFL team to oversee the work of evaluating, assessing and offering help to those who want to improve their skills as preachers and worship leaders. It is the intent of EFL to recruit the best possible team we can find to make sure that you have confidence in the content they offer and the perspectives they share with you on how to improve. As the team comes together, the faculty will be listed here.
EFL Board Members
With years of experience in sales, Gordon has demonstrated a heart for people and an ability to communicate his passion for his products. That ability carries over into his lifetime of ministry. An avid reader and student of our times, he constantly challenges the thinking of the status quo and offers biblical perspectives by which to understand the world around us better and propose biblical answers. He and his family have lived in the Raleigh area for many years. EFL is grateful to have him serve with us!
A veteran of many mission trips as well as heading up the missions committee at his church, Steve has invested wisely and widely in helping spread the gospel to the nations. As a successful business man, he has proven to be innovative and creative throughout his career and brings keen insights to the table as EFL taps into his expertise and entrepreneurial thinking to grow the impact we will have for years to come. The godly heritage he has passed on to his family brings great pleasure to this gracious gentleman as he delights in seeing his children and grandchildren continue the line of his own years of faithful ministry. He and his family have called Raleigh home for many years but recently have relocated to a coastal community in North Carolina.
Two consuming passions emerge when you talk to Earle--Sara, the "love of his life" who will find her way into every conversation you have with Earle; and introducing others to Jesus Christ. Years of experience in real estate in the Triangle area as well as years of active service on a variety of boards (foundations, schools, churches and now EFL to mention but a few), Earle continues to be sought out for godly counsel by people of all ages. He is only to glad to accommodate them in his own humble way as he brings biblical and spiritual wisdom to all who get to be with him. His role on the EFL board promises to be an enriching addition as one highly respected by his fellow board members. He and Sara enjoy family as much as anyone you will ever meet and delight in their adult children and host of grandchildren.
A successful career at IBM uniquely qualifies David to bring his business acumen to the work of EFL in order to help maintain a high caliber of integrity to our organizational and operational structures. For years he served as an elder at Providence Baptist Church, steering the congregation through many periods of growth and change. Like many of our board members, David is a great thinker who has particular skills in the areas of assessment and discernment. As a long-time resident of the Triangle, David and his wife Mary brought up their family here and are now entering into that joyful season of grandparenting.
The administrative and organizational skills of Steve developed over a productive career in the pharmaceutical industry. Many young business leaders make their way to his door seeking his advice and counsel because they recognize him as a man of great depth with profound biblical convictions and practical spiritual understanding. After years in that industry, Steve spent a few years giving oversight and direction to the administrative needs of his church, serving the body of Christ in his capacity as Executive Director of Administration. Steve has been in the Raleigh area for many years now and understands the unique character of our community as well as the global community we seek to reach. As a husband, father and grandfather, Steve appreciates the joys of a godly heritage.
Known among his friends and colleagues as a man of convictions with a heart for prayer, Jon brings to the EFL team his own business experience as well as his ministry heart. His many years working with Cisco bear witness to his acumen in the corporate world. But the real value Jon gives to our team lies in his spiritual insight and wisdom, his great gifts of encouragement and his love for the church, the Bride of Christ. Serving as an elder at Providence Baptist Church, Jon proved his value over and over again. EFL welcomes his significant contributions to this labor of love. He and his family have been in the Raleigh area for many years and have a heart for both this city and for the nations beyond.