What began in September 1974 has no sign of concluding soon, with Pastor Heyne saying he thinks he’ll “pull the pin when the Lord pulls the pin”.
In other words, we’re lucky enough to have Pastor Heyne until he’s seated at God’s right hand in Heaven.
Pastor Heyne is the oldest of eight children, so his grounding as somewhat of a ‘figurehead’ had an early start.
It didn’t stop at simply looking out for his brothers and sisters – Pastor Heyne became a teacher, and had an impact on the lives of hundreds of young people across our state.
“I spent 14 wonderful years as a teacher,” he said. “I was able to have a marvellous relationship with so many young people.”
But, in 1959 Pastor Heyne, then just Ern, was called by God to perform higher duties. He attended the Lutheran seminary in Adelaide, and graduated in 1964 as a Pastor – with his first appointment being in Port Pirie.
Originally from Gumeracha, Pastor Heyne made the move the city of friendly people and was quickly encouraged by the president of the local Lutheran church to “somehow” become the “best known person in Port Pirie”.
Pastor Heyne said he grabbed the opportunity with “two hands”. A keen sportsman, Pastor Heyne made a name for himself in Port Pirie by coaching junior sports.
Throughout his involvement with sport he coached Aussie rules, netball, softball and baseball. Several thousands of kids had been mentored by Pastor Heyne during this time, and over the years of his sporting involvements.
However, his lengthy involvement with The Recorder is what many have come to be familiar with Pastor Heyne for.
Originally part of the Ministers of Port Pirie contribution to our paper, Pastor Heyne took the reins of My Say, and has never looked back.
“My overall theme was firstly to point people to God,” Pastor Heyne said. “But, secondly, it was to learn from him awareness and love for everyone around me – no exceptions.
“The point is – once you love someone conditionally, you cease to love them genuinely or effectively.”
As for a response over the years, Pastor Heyne said he still can’t go down the shop without someone stopping him to say “I liked your story this week”.
Pastor Heyne said there had been times where he thought of pulling the pin due to pressure, but says he “couldn’t let people down”.
Throughout these later years of his life, Pastor Heyne has strayed from the daily rigmarole of church-ism and dedicates more of his time to people in society who are “possibly neglected”.
And, how does Pastor Heyne get through life?... His faith, of course.
“My faith is the most important thing in my life,” he said.
“Without my faith I would lose sense of who I was and God’s plan for me.
“My life is a gift to be used for the good of others.” A sad reality facing today’s generation is the lack of Christian youth, and it saddens Pastor Heyne.
“Ninety per cent of children don’t know much about God, or who he is – let alone his purpose and impact on our lives,” he said.
“Throughout the ages we’ve been through phases of life and come out the other side – I find there is a positive to look forward to.
“We won’t go back to being what we were a generation ago, but there are still many people who have a firm belief in God.”
Pastor Heyne believes that at the right time we will “restore what we appear to have lost”.
“Only god knows how, when and where,” he said.
As for Pastor Heyne’s next chapter, he says he is looking forward to the years to come.
“I look forward to many years in this city that I have learned to love and the great joy of being part of a wonderful community,” he said.