Pastor Samuel K. Hunter, Jr. is the founder and Senior Pastor of The Next Level Church, he is a native of Clinton, KY. He moved to Bowling Green, KY after graduating high school in 1994. Pastor Hunter began working for Sun Products Corporation (Legacy Huish Detergents) during this time and now works in the Training and Continuous Improvement field. While working a full time job he also attended Western Kentucky University in 1997 where he received an Associate of Science degree in 2001 and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy with a Minor in Manufacturing Sciences in 2003. Currently, he is halfway finished with completing his Master’s in Divinity degree in Pastoral Preaching from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. In 1997 Samuel K. Hunter, Jr. married the love of his life, his high school sweetheart Lady Bertha Hunter, “She is my heart and I love her and my two children Breanna & Jonathan Hunter more than words can express! I thank God for the beautiful family He has given me.”
A little testimony of how God brought Pastor Hunter to the place in Him he is today ties back to the year 2000 when his wife was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer, during this time he had the joy of watching her remain confident the Lord was going to heal her. They prayed together about her being healed and not long after that, He remembers as if it were yesterday praying to the Lord, “If You heal my wife from cancer, I will do anything You want me to do.” Four years after that special prayer, the Lord informed him of all the things that He had already done for him, which included healing his wife from cancer and He instructed Pastor Hunter that he must now do something for Him and that is “Go tell everyone about Him.”
Pastor Hunter was previously the Pastor of Macedonia Baptist Church from November 2008 until the end of October in 2013. Two years into his previous pastorate God spoke to him letting him know that he needed to be in Bowling Green, KY. He even gave him the Name of the Church – The Next Level Church. As God began to “shift” Pastor Hunter, in time, he knew in his spirit that it was time to start The Next Level Church and so in January 2013 with the help of his loving wife Lady Bertha Hunter and a few prayerfully chosen leaders The Next Level Church began. Finally, after pastoring both the Next Level Church and Macedonia for 10 months God instructed him that his time was up at his previous pastorate. “The Next Level is the church my family and I love attending ,” says Pastor Hunter “because we are a church whose primary focus is on Jesus, loving each other and helping those in need – and that’s what it’s all about! We are a “City of Hope” for those who have been hurt, hindered, put down or pushed to the side whether it took place in church or in the world God is restoring us to the next level at The Next Level.”
The Next Level Church is a Bible based ministry seeking to reach the saved, un-churched, de-churched and lost at all costs with the life changing message of Jesus Christ.
Committed to the Spirit of excellence, we are striving to become a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic ministry impacting the city of Bowling Green and the surrounding communities by providing a refuge of hope, a place where ordinary people can encounter an extraordinary God who can solve any problem and do the impossible.
We worship the Lord in Spirit and in truth because the Word says, “Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is Liberty”.
Our foundation is the Word of God and we believe it in its entirety. We believe that God is able to develop and deliver us so we can do what He says we can do, be who He says we can be and have what He says we can have – to reach the destiny He has for our lives
1. We believe the Holy Bible as the inspired Word of God, without any error, the all-sufficient authority in matters of faith, doctrine, and Christian living.
2. We believe in one God, eternally existing in three Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
3. We believe in the Virgin Birth of Jesus Christ, and that He is true God and man. He died on the cross for our sins. He rose bodily from the dead, ascended into heaven where He sits at the right hand of the Father and is now our High Priest and Advocate.
4. We believe that man was created in the image of God but fell into sin and therefore lost. Only through regeneration by the work of the Holy Spirit can man’s salvation and spiritual life be obtained.
5. We believe that eternal salvation is the free gift of God by His Grace, entirely apart from man’s works, and is possessed by any and all who have faith in and receive Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior.
6. We believe in a regenerated church membership: that is, persons old enough to understand their need for Jesus Christ and, of their own free will, accepted Him as their personal Lord and Savior.
7. We believe that God adds to the church daily, in the book of Acts we see that God added to the church daily those who were saved.
8. We believe in Jesus Christ as the sovereign giver of spiritual gifts to the church. We believe spiritual gifts are given for the perfecting of the Saints, for the work of the ministry, and for the edifying of the Body of Christ.
9. We believe that baptism is by immersion and the Lord’s Supper is a memorial to His suffering and death on the cross. These are ordinances to be observed by the church in its present age.
10. We believe in the personal, bodily, imminent, and glorious return of the Lord Jesus Christ and that His Second Coming inspires believers for a dynamic and zealous life and service for Him while waiting for His return.
11. We believe in the bodily resurrection of the dead, the everlasting blessedness of the saved in heaven, and the everlasting punishment and separation from God of the unsaved in hell.
12. We believe that because Jesus Loves Us, God Looks beyond our faults and sees our needs – I Peter 5:7.
13. We believe the answers to all life’s questions are in the Word of God – Luke 11:9-1
14. We believe that God has a purpose for our lives – John 15:2.
15. We believe that Jesus has given believers the power to do greater works – John 14:12.
16. We believe that Jesus came so that we may have life and life more abundantly – John 10:10
The Next Level Church considers itself an E5 Ministry as it relates to why we exist:
1. We exist to Exalt the name of the Lord because only by Him we live, move, and have our being. The Bible declares, “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord,” so whenever we enter into the presence of the Lord, we worship and adore Him through song, prayer and praise. (Acts 17:18, Psalm 150:6)
2. We exist to Embrace one another, the Bible declares that we should bear one another’s burdens. We believe in encouraging and uplifting one another because we love our neighbor as ourselves. (1Peter 5:7, Galatians 5:14)
3. We exist to Evangelize the Lost at all costs, we recognize that the Gospel has not reached all people even within the confines our community and surrounding towns, therefore, with the help of the Holy Spirit, we will continue to strive to make disciples as commanded by Jesus in the Great Commission. (Matth ew 28:18-20)
4. We exist to Equip the people of God, the Bible declares that all Scripture is given by the inspiration of God, for reproof, correction, and the instruction in righteousness, so that the people of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. We are taught by way of Bible Study, Small Groups and hearing the Word of God. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
5. Finally, we exist to Empower the people of God, our pastor provides a relevant Word from God to reach the masses in every age group from adolescent to senior. In our Bible Studies/Small Groups issues are tackled that believers go through on a day-to-day basis and the Word of God is used to find solutions to those issues.
The Sunday morning messages are designed to develop believers to
be all that God has called them to be. In addition, we recognize the power of prayer, if a church is going to be effective it must spend much time in prayer just as Jesus demonstrated by making it His top priority in His earthly ministry. (Acts 1:14, John 17)