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Nazarene pastor settles into Kenmare church

The new pastor at the Church of the Nazarene describes Kenmare as similar to San Angelo, Texas, where he grew up.

8/29/17 (Tue)

The new pastor at the Church of the Nazarene describes Kenmare as similar to San Angelo, Texas, where he grew up.

Although San Angelo is much bigger than Kenmare, boasting a nearly 101,000 population, Brad Griffin says it’s the hometown feeling he has about his new, North Dakota community.

Griffin was named pastor at the Church of the Nazarene in Kenmare, and after living in Colorado Springs, Colo., for the past four years, he welcomes the change.

Even though San Angelo is a larger city, he says it was easy to get to know people. But in Colorado Springs, which is home to the Air Force Academy and the Fort Carson Army post, among other military installations, there are a lot of transients and rarely do you see the same person twice.

He believes it will be easy to get to know people in Kenmare, just as it was in his hometown.

Griffin replaces Pastor Jerris Chulick, who recently moved to Missouri. Griffin has talked to her numerous times and added she did a great job in promoting the church and the community.

“She was a great ambassador and she misses Kenmare,” Griffin said. “She’s in St. Louis where God called her, but she misses Kenmare.”

The pastor couldn’t say enough about the parishioners at the church and how they helped a new family in town fit right in. He said there are some good people here and his family is looking forward to being a part of the community.

“The church did an amazing job of welcoming us,” Griffin said of his family. “They went out of their way to make us feel welcome.”

Griffin and his wife Kristen will celebrate their 19th wedding anniversary in December and they have two children, 14-year-old Madison and 9-year-old Zach.

“The kids have endured these moves,” he says. “But Madison jumped right into volleyball. She’s always interested in volleyball.”

Four years ago the family moved to Colorado Springs where he attended the Nazarene Bible College and earned a bachelor of arts degree in pastoral ministries.

He got connected to North Dakota because of a good friend who lives in Beulah who informed him of the Kenmare church.

“I never imagined I’d be doing this,” he said. “I was well into my 20s before God started leading me down this path. Then, I was at a conference in Houston and God hit me with a spiritual 2x4.”

Griffin will be a licensed minister in four years and is currently working on his ordination with the Church of the Nazarene.

He says his hope is to be here a while to establish some stability in the church and so the kids don’t have to leave their friends once again.

He’s also been meeting with other pastors in Kenmare, something he calls “refreshing,”  mentioning Kelley Reuer of Alive Christian Fellowship and Ross Ferguson of Faith Baptist by name.

“I’m looking forward to knowing the other pastors and expanding the church,” Griffin says. “Growth can happen in the church and there are certainly enough people to minister.”

Griffin has a strong background in communication and says it will certainly help on the pulpit.

He once worked at KIDY-TV, the Fox affiliate in San Angelo and later at KLST, the CBS affiliate with the majority of his work being in ad sales for the respective TV stations.

“They called me Captain Cold Call, not just because I was selling ads, but to learn of their needs,” Griffin says. “Looking back, I never thought it would come to help me in the ministry.”

While working in TV, the stations began adding online advertising and established a social media presence.

That too, has helped him because social media helps get the word out.

“It was quite beneficial and I understand how it works,” he says. It’s the creative side of things and it’s a beneficial tool.”

He expects there will some kind of social media presence with local the church, but it’s not a high priority right now.

Griffin also worked for a time at the Standard-Times newspaper in San Angelo and later got on with the Gazette after moving to Colorado Springs.

He also began to dabble in Christian radio stations in Colorado Springs and that’s where he met Dr. James Dobson, an evangelical author who began a radio program called “Focus on the Family,” and is now head of a radio program titled “Family Talk” that is broadcast in a dozen languages and is heard on 7,000 stations worldwide to approximately 220 million people.

“To know how to minister on that scale is impressive,” Griffin says. “His message is timeless because the dynamic of parenting hasn’t changed.”

Griffin spent three of his four years in Colorado Springs with Dobson and his family. He said it was a great place to work and he misses Dobson and his work place.

“It was a huge honor to work with Dr. Dobson,” Griffin says. “It was the highlight of my career.”

The flagship station for “Family Talk” is Sirius-XM channel 131 on satellite radio, but is also heard locally on radio stations KHRT in Minot and CHAB in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.

Griffin expects he will use some of the knowledge he learned from Dobson in his Kenmare ministry. In fact, the Macbook laptop computer he now uses, was given to him by the Dobson family.

A fond memory indeed, but Griffin is ready to get to work in Kenmare and make the church a better place for the parishioners and the community as a whole.

“I’m looking forward to doing it,” Griffin says. “The church is here for them. The church’s mission is to love people. It’s not judging, but to love and serve Jesus. I’m hoping to get out more in the community and let them know we’re here to love people.”

Worship time at the Church of the Nazarene at 902 Central Ave. North is 11 a.m., on Sunday with a prayer service at 9:15 and Sunday School at 9:45. A Bible study and children’s activity is held Wednesday evenings beginning at 7 p.m.

Griffin may be reached at 385-3295, or at ( Read EVERY WORD on EVERY PAGE of The Kenmare News by subscribing--online or in print!