Clayton Jech Story

My name is Clayton Jech and all my life I have been in church. That is actually quite a literal statement.

My mother was singing in choir on a Sunday night service when she went into labor. The following Sunday I was in church and have been attending ever since. My parents were heavily involved in churches. They both taught Sunday school and my father was a deacon.  We were faithful in attendance and involved in as many areas and outreaches as possible.

From a very young age I was learning about the love of Jesus and what He had done for me. When I gave my heart to the Lord, there was not a dramatic “hit rock bottom” story to tell. I know many people can tell you a particular date, time, and location, but I cannot. I remember about the age of 8 of cognitively understanding the salvation plan.  It seemed like such a natural process. Understanding for the first time what it really meant to be saved.  I prayed the simple prayer and got up off my knees and went back to my parents.

I grew up a typical child and teenager involved in the programs for all those age groups. I was involved in children’s church, youth, Bible Quiz, drama productions, outreaches, and mission trips.  The Lord blessed me as I grew. The spirit worked on me by changing me into becoming more like Christ. I remember my teenage years. I was thinking about. My mother and I discussed the possibilities. In a joking way, she mentioned being a preacher.  I laughed and said “No way!”

I was not against preachers. I had a great respect for my pastor.  Just the thought of being one seemed humorous and something I would not want to do.  Little did I know the Holy Spirit was about to change my life. At age 16 during a revival, I did not hear a word of the message the evangelist was saying because the Holy Spirit was talking to me the entire time about becoming a preacher. It came out of where and unexpectedly.  I knew it must be the Holy Spirit. My life began to change.

After graduating from Bible College I was called to the youth ministry in two different churches.  At the second church, I was promoted to associate pastor.  After a few years in this position, I went into senior pastoring when I started a church outside of Fort Worth, Texas. I spent 7 years there, and then became the senior pastor in a church in Leonard, Texas.

After a couple years in that church I felt that the Lord was calling me into a different direction. I was not sure where He was leading me.  I had to learn patience.  I had thought my life’s path was already decided. My sabbatical led me to get my degree in counseling.  Now I serve as a Christian counselor in McKinney, Texas.  I also became the Chi Alpha director for Texas A & M University in Commerce, Texas. However, I still felt like this was not the final part of the journey the Lord was leading me.

My son Andrew was diagnosed several years ago with autism. This has proved to be one of the greatest challenges of my life.  This changes my prospective on many things. The first part of my life and ministry was about trying to reach perfection as best I could. I was striving to do everything right: appearance, speech, and actions. After all that is what we as Christians are to do in our walk. We are to strive to please our Heavenly Father, and I am not saying that this is a good thing to do.

It was not until fathering my son with his unique challenges that I gained a new understanding of how the heavenly Father leads us. It is my humanity and imperfection that He embraces. Pleasing my Heavenly Father is not about perfection. It is about simple love for Him and pure trust in Him. My relationship with my son has brought me joy and pleasure, even with his autism behavior. And when my son messes up, my love for him is just the same, just like God’s love for us. This has given me a greater love for God and others even with their imperfections.

We came to believe that maybe the Lord sent us on this journey. We have now begun a ministry to reach not only people with special needs, but we are in the process of reaching their families as well. It is my prayer that the Lord will continue to guide me in His purposes.


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