Knoxville — "The Lord just led us here," says Wayne Wood, one of the new pastors at Knoxville's First Assembly of God Church.
Wayne, and his wife, Jackie, come to Knoxville from Des Moines, where they have been the past two years. They moved to Iowa from south Florida, where they worked with at-risk youth, to help Jackie's parents.
Jackie is no stranger to the area, Wayne says. She grew up in Des Moines and spent her summers in the Centerville area. Wayne has heard stories of how Jackie and her friends used to recreate in the Red Rock area, before the dam was built.
Wayne himself is a Florida native. Born in Bakersfield, Calif., while on a family trip, Wayne was raised in the Sunshine State. He worked in construction, as a commercial fisherman and a logger in Florida. Those industries do not exist in south Florida anymore, he said.
A man with faith all of his life, Wayne said he was led to turn everything over to God when he broke his neck. He was dying, and told by neurologists that he would never recover. With that medical advice, and the injury to his spinal cord, Wayne said he decided to "get right with God" and just the opposite happened.
"God chose to heal me instead of taking me home," Wayne said. He added that the doctors who told him recovery was impossible "didn't know our God."
Wayne dedicated his life to the Lord. He believes God is power, and the Lord will lead people to where the Lord wants them to be.
God led Jackie, who was still living in Des Moines when they met, to Wayne while she was on a trip to Florida. Together, they have six children and eight grandchildren.