But the tipping point came when Payne went with a youth group to Worship University – a ministry leadership camp for students now simply called “Lead Camp” – last summer.
“One night we were there having praise and worship time and Pastor Nathan said that if anybody felt like they were being called into the ministry, to come forward,” Payne said. “I’ve never had a feeling like that any time in my life. God literally broke me. I sat there and hesitated, and hesitated and he said ‘I feel like there’s an adult here that’s being called into the ministry.’ Well, I never did go down. I just kind of sat back.
“But after it was over, I caught Pastor Nathan outside and I said, ‘Nathan, that person was me.’ He said, ‘I know. God laid it on my heart to say that, because I knew that there was an adult here being called full-time into the ministry.’ So, I spent a lot of time with him, we prayed about it.
“When I came back up here from the camp, I visited with our pastor, Paul Harris, and I told him what had happened. He told me, ‘Well, I knew sooner or later it was going to happen.’ From then on, it’s just been a neat experience.
“God says in Romans 9:28 “We know that all things work together for good for those who love God and those who are called according to His purpose.” I look at this verse, and everything – all the churches and all the mentors that I’ve had – has all worked together. Each time we’ve been at a different church, God has taken me to the next level He wants me to go. I truly believe that’s why I’m here in Mineral Wells.”