Steve Huddleston, senior minister of University Christian Church, says the church’s attendance has tripled in the last decade. Although the church doesn’t sell normal retail products, Steve is the first to inform you that the church does offer salvation for free. The 86-year-old church is a non-denominational Christian church devoted to bringing others to Christ and building them up in Christ.
Moving in 1979 from the corner of Calvert and Gilbert streets near Ball State (hence, the name University Christian Church), the church was landlocked and, in order to grow, it was necessary to relocate. Although Steve wasn’t at the church at the time, he says God inspired someone in the church to capture the vision of how the city would grow out this way (west and north—off SR 332, basically a cornfield at the time), and it has turned out to be a great location for University Christian Church.
His church built and donated the gazebo shelter on the walking trail at the corner of River Road and Tiger Drive and another for the Yorktown Elementary School playground. Last year, members built an overhang for the door of Reach Yorktown Ministry.
Steve grew up in University Christian Church from the time he was three years old until his family moved to Evansville after his sophomore year at Delta High School in 1975. His father was an elder in the church for several of those years, and he was baptized there when he was nine years old by one of his brothers. During his almost 30 years’ absence at University Christian, he worked 20 of those years in youth ministry. Returning in 2004 to University Christian to serve as senior minister, Steve says, “I’ve loved every minute of it.” His personal philosophy is to live with integrity, preach effectively, lead courageously, serve willingly, and leave a legacy.
Steve shared a story about the funniest thing that has happened to him. “I was portraying the Apostle Peter at church camp,” he said. “I was in full costume and rowed up to shore in a boat so I could give a first-person account of how this fisherman—turned disciple—walked on water when he saw Jesus. But I fell out of the boat and got soaking wet,” he continued. “This made it hilarious as I tried to describe what a great fisherman I was and how I walked on water!”
Married for 34 years to Pam, he has two adult children, Heather Burns and Aaron Huddleston; one “beautiful grandchild,” and an 80-pound Gordon Setter named Milo. Steve enjoys hacking—known by the more skilled as golf, he said. Steve also likes reading, writing, and sports. He has a BA from Milligan College and an MA from Cincinnati Christian Seminary.
He is vice president of Reach Yorktown Ministry, board member of Ball State Christian Student Foundation, board member of Christian counseling Services, and former board member of Hope Crisis Pregnancy Center.
Steve is currently reading three books: The Dude’s Guide to Manhood, The Renegade Pastor, and Life on Mission.
University Christian Church
2400 N Nebo Rd., Muncie
9-3 Mon-Fri; Sundays 9:15 Sunday school and 10:30 worship service