Austin “Mack” Dennis is senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Asheville, North Carolina.

  1. Where did you grow up?

Henderson, North Carolina (north of Raleigh/Durham), where I was a member of First Baptist Church and was ordained to ministry there in 2003.

  1. What is your favorite verse, book or story in the Bible? Why?

Revelation 1:12-18 has always captivated me.

Falling down as though dead after a face-to-face encounter with “one like the Son of Man” seems to me to be an appropriate response to a living God.

  1. What is your favorite movie? Why?

“Cool Hand Luke.”

My own eventual plan – after retirement, of course – is to frustrate the municipal authorities, get thrown in jail, inspire my fellow inmates, eat 50 eggs and attempt an ambitious, daring escape.

  1. Who are three people you admire?

I’m going to stick with the dead on this one because there are too many living people to name: Baptist provocateur Will D. Campbell (1924-2013), English preacher F.W. Robertson (1816-1853) and French philosopher and mystic Simone Weil (1909-1943).

  1. What is one little-known fact about yourself?

I was on the UNC-Chapel Hill varsity fencing team for one season – foil division.

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