Gary Furr is pastor of Vestavia Hills Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama.

1. Where did you grow up?

I was born and raised my first seven years in Concord, North Carolina, but because of dad’s career in retail management I lived in eight cities in five states (North Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio, Wisconsin and Texas) by the time I graduated high school.

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

The conversion of the Philippian jailer in Acts 16.

Because it was the basis of Paul Tillich’s famous sermon, “The Shaking of the Foundations,” and because of its beautiful image of God’s worshipping church “still being there” when someone’s life and security comes apart.

3. What is your favorite movie? Why?

“To Kill a Mockingbird.”

The scene where Gregory Peck walks out to a silent standing respect after losing the case in an unpopular cause still gives me chills.

4. Who are three people you admire?

Howard Thurman (Martin Luther King Jr.’s mentor and a brilliant preacher and writer), Thomas Merton and Fisher Humphreys.

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

I was co-captain of my high school basketball team and could dunk a basketball until my early 30s when an ankle injury put an end to that.

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