BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — For the past 34 years, Timothy Schofield has served as the lead pastor of the United Apostolic Faith Church in Beckley.

His parents both pastored at the same church, his father from 1953 to 1984 and his mother from ’84 to ’88.

In 1989, Schofield took over, ensuring the church continued it’s role as an important place for the community.

“I thought by keeping the church in the community, it would be a great help to the community and end up being a great help to the city and to the African American community,” said Schofield.

Though Schofield ended up following in his parents’ footsteps, it was never his original intention to become a pastor.

“They often say if you really want to make God laugh, tell him what your plans are,” said Schofield. “But my plan, no I really wanted to be, really a traveling evangelist. That was my forte. But the older I got and the more I got involved in the church, I saw that my calling was actually to be a pastor and now I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

While February celebrates Black History Month, Schofield said its just as much about looking toward the future as it is looking back at the past.

“I always have this motto that its important to number 1, release the past, focus on the present and then prepare for your future,” said Schofield. “And if we do those three things, I think we can move forward instead of always looking backward, we will look forward. That’s when I think we’ll see positive change.”