I grew up the youngest of four children. We attended church until I reached Junior High age when we stopped abruptly. In my Sr Hi years I tasted what the world had to offer and by my Senior year I considered myself an atheist (I just didn’t see God anywhere or doing anything).
The year following High School I wrestled with the ultimate question (it was very Ecclesiastical). Is this all there is to life? What’s my purpose? There has to be more to life than what I’m doing now? That winter, my best friend and his girlfriend set me up on a double date with a new girl in town. She was sweet, innocent and I soon found out, a Christian. Kim endured six months of inquisitive questions and scrutiny of her family and lifestyle, before I arrived at the conclusion that I needed to know this Jesus Christ like Kim did. In July of 1979, I surrendered my life to Christ. God immediately laid on my heart a burden for teenagers, and a passion to reach them with the gospel of Christ.
Four years later God called Kim and I and our firstborn to Chicago so I could attend Moody Bible Institute. I graduated in ’86 and took a Youth Pastor position on the south side of Chicago. Two years later we returned to our roots of Iowa and raised our children in Davenport as I led the youth ministry and other areas of ministry for the next 27 years.
We are empty nesters and adventurous. God laid on my heart church planting and so I stepped into a young church in West Union. As I provide Pastoral leadership to Faith Bible Fellowship, I will also oversee Church Planting in the NE region for the Central District (EFCA).
I love casting Vision and fleshing it out. I love building something from nothing or rebuilding what has been in disrepair, I thoroughly enjoy working with adults all the way down to children. I’m doing exactly what I want to be doing.
Faith Bible Fellowship History:
In the winter of 2004 an ad was placed in the Fayette County Union inviting people to attend a meeting to explore the idea of an Evangelical Free Church in West Union. A small group met with Kent McKinnon (church planter for the Central District EFCA) during the next several months working through the necessary details to become and Evangelical Free Church. In the Spring of 2005 Faith Bible Fellowship came under the Evangelical Free Church banner. During the next nine years the church fluctuated in size as they had several part-time Pastors serve the church.
In the Fall of 2014 the church moved from their meeting place for nine years to the library in the NFV High School. In May of 2015 the church voted in Dan Doebel as their Pastor. He and his wife Kim moved to West Union and have become an active force in the community.
History of EFCA:
The Evangelical Free Church came to the US from Scandinavia, where “free” meant free from state control. It now means free from a central controlling governing body, which means the denomination doesn’t govern the local churches. They, instead, depend on active participation of pastors and lay people in their own churches.
The term “evangelical” refers to our commitment to proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ, and our commitment to the authority of the Bible for guiding faith and practice. Today the term “evangelical” is used as a broad category for churches with these same commitments.
The mission statement of the Evangelical Free Church is to glorify God by multiplying healthy churches among all people. In 2014, the EFCA reported a weekly attendance of 371,191 in 1,500 congregations. In the United States there are 1,314 EFCA churches and 176 church plants with 270 multi-ethnic churches and 102 multi-site or second language services. Close to 550 missionaries serve in more than 80 countries. As of 2000, California had the largest number of congregations with 175. However, membership is primarily concentrated in the Midwest. The Central District was founded in 1898 and currently serves the churches of Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, and SE South Dakota. Currently there are 131 churches in the Central District with 12 others in different stages of joining. The doctrinal position of The Evangelical Free Church of America is summarized in our ten-article Statement of Faith.
The core beliefs of this statement are:
- That the scriptures, both Old and New Testament, are the inspired Word of God, without error in the original writings.
- That there is one God, Creator of all things, infinitely perfect and eternally existing in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
- That Jesus Christ is true God and true man. He died on the cross, a sacrifice for our sins. He arose bodily from the dead. Only those who place their trust in Jesus Christ and Him alone for their salvation are true members of the body of Christ, and thus able to be members of the local church.
- That the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ and to indwell, guide, instruct and empower the believer for godly living and service.
How to become a Christian:
- See yourself from God’s eyes
- Romans 3:12 “All have turned aside, together they have become worthless. No one does good, not even one.”
- See Jesus for Who He really is:
- Savior – John 14:6 “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through the Son.”
- Lord – Mark 14:62 “Are you the Christ? Jesus responded, I AM”
- Surrender yourself to Christ –
- John 1:12 – “But as many as received him, to them gave he the right to be called sons of God.”
- 2 Cor 5:15 – “And he died for all, so that’s those who live should not live for themselves but for him who died and rose again on their behalf.”
- Surround yourself with things of God
- Read His Word, that’s God’s way of speaking to you. (Ps 119:105)
- Spend time with other believers in church and out of church. (Heb. 10:25)
- Confess your sins every day. He will forgive you and help you to fight temptation. (1 Jn 1:9)
- Share Jesus with others who need to know Jesus like you know Jesus. (1 Peter 3:15)
- Talk to Him often . . . That’s prayer which is your walking of talking (Mt 6:5-8)