ROCK CHURCH SENIOR PASTOR
Miles McPherson is the President of Miles Ahead Ministries and Senior Pastor of the Rock Church and Academy in San Diego, California. A nationally known speaker, McPherson’s bold, down- to-earth, humorous style has become his trademark. His relevant messages challenge both the young and young-minded and often compel them to recalibrate their lives in light of the Gospel.
Born in Brooklyn, New York in March 1960, the second oldest of five children, McPherson was raised on Long Island in a strong family. After excelling in football throughout high school, he attended the University of New Haven, where he majored in engineering. McPherson was the university's first player to achieve All-American honors in football and be drafted into the NFL. Strong athletics run in the McPherson family; Miles’ brother, Don McPherson, was a Heisman Trophy runner-up in 1987. Miles was originally drafted by the Los Angeles Rams; he was cut and went on to play defensive back for the San Diego Chargers.
Off the field his life began to spiral out of control. Two years into his professional football career, McPherson was battling a drug problem and living an immoral lifestyle. That’s when teammate Sherman Smith, now an NFL coach, asked McPherson a simple question, "If you were to die right now, would you go to heaven?”
It took over six months for McPherson to answer that question. In April 1984, having been up all night doing cocaine and realizing that his life was empty, McPherson gave his life to Jesus Christ.
The change was dramatic and instant. He began attending Horizon Christian Fellowship in San Diego and reaching out to teenagers. McPherson also began doing motivational speaking with the Chargers’ organization. In September 1986, within a week after retiring from football, McPherson went to work as a Youth Pastor for Horizon and enrolled in Azusa Pacific University's School of Theology. He received his Master's of Divinity degree in 1991.
In 1992, McPherson founded Miles Ahead, a non-profit organization that reaches out to youth around the globe with the Gospel. Since its inception, more than 45,000 young people have given their lives to the Lord.
The Rock Church was founded by McPherson in 2000. More than 3,300 attended the first service on Feb. 27, in Montezuma Hall at San Diego State University. This is believed to have been the largest opening service in the nation’s history. The congregation grew quickly. Currently more than 12,000 attend one of the Rock’s five weekend services.
The church recently moved to a newly-refurbished 210,000-square- foot complex in the Point Loma area of San Diego. The state-of- the-art sanctuary seats 3,500 and a 1,600 square-foot high- definition picture screen enhances the experience. The Rock is known as a “DO Something” church, with close to 100 ministries that reach out to the community in many ways. The Rock has committed to giving 600,000 hours of transformational volunteer service in 2009 to San Diego and theworld.
The Rock was recently named the the 19 largest church in the nation by Outreach Magazine.McPherson is the author of several books and articles and earned an Emmy Award in 2007 for a documentary on methamphetamine. He and his wife Debbie have three children and reside in San Diego.