“Chef Pastor” Dishes on Faith
Missing some spice in your life? Pastor Errol Clay, or Chef Pastor as he is known, has just the recipe you need. Flavor Church, located in the chapel of Clay’s Mortuary and Cremation in Cinco Ranch, uses a creative cooking theme to draw members to Christ. In Pastor Clay’s words, “I seek to take away the intimidation factor from coming to church. We welcome all, just as you are.” The church’s vision is “developing well-balanced believers who flavor the world.” They call their members to sample their Flavor 3 Piece: dining, disciple, dish out. “First, feed yourself with the Word, the church experience and fellowship. Second, disciple those around you, and third, extend your reach to others who are looking for God,” Clay explained. It’s quite a departure from traditional churches, and that’s exactly what Clay likes about it. After founding Just God Church Int’l in 1994, Clay ran the Houston church through 2014. He wanted to open a second location in Richmond, to great excitement from his members, but was unsure about keeping the Houston church open.
They prayed about it after a Sunday service and on Monday got a call from their Houston landlord that a company wanted the property immediately. As Clay sees it, that was the perfect sign from God. He’s had many signs, starting from the time he was a youngster. At just 11 years old, tragedy struck and began to form the man he would become. He was playing basketball at a friend’s house when police cars and firetrucks came racing down the street toward his house. He rushed home to find his 37-year-old pastor father on a stretcher. His dad removed his oxygen mask and told him he loved him, and later that night, he died. Having had no prior interest in becoming a pastor himself, Clay feels that at this point, his heart began to change. He attended Mortuary College (see our Business profile, this issue), married, and three months later, was called into the ministry at 21 years old.
Next year, he will celebrate 20 years as a pastor. “Turns out, I was meant to be a pastor and a funeral director all along,” said Clay. “My wife works at the church as an Assistant Pastor and Worship Leader, and when I’m not here, I’m working at Brookshire Church helping my uncle, who is also a pastor.” As with most pastors, Clay’s goal is to grow his church, and his challenge stems not from a lack of passion, but a lack of funding. “Everyone wants to belong to a church that is viewed as successful and abundant in resources, but those resources take funding, and many don’t want to give. Most importantly, I want to be able to meet the needs of our members, whatever they may be,” he said. Through lifestyle evangelism, Clay works with families to help them find balance in their busy lives. As he says, “It’s better to indulge in sin-free fun because you don’t have to kill your witness or live with regrets. “ His messages are timely and contemporary as he feeds his congregation with a steady diet of the Word.
For more information about Flavor Church, visit their website at Getflavored.org or call 281-we-flava.