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New Mennonite Pastor Feels Community's Love And Support

Posted 9/14/2017

STEPHEN Wilcox is the new pastor at First Mennonite Church. He and his family moved here from Virginia.STEPHEN Wilcox is the new pastor at First Mennonite Church. He and his family moved here from Virginia.BY Jared Janzen

HALSTEAD—First Mennonite Church’s new pastor followed God’s call to move here all the way from Virginia. Stephen Wilcox took over as lead pastor at the church on Aug. 1.

He said his early impressions of First Mennonite are that it’s a very loving and supportive congregation.

“They’re very much like family,” he said. “They seem to really deeply care about each other and care about finding ways to connect to serving God and community.”

Before moving here, Wilcox and his family lived in Virginia. He had never been to Kansas before learning about the job opportunity, but he said he felt this was where God called his family.

“We had kind of said, ‘God, we’re willing to move,’ but we had kind of drawn a line in the middle of the country and said we’re not going to go further than here, and we were looking for something much (closer),” Wilcox said. “And we had options other places, but it just really felt like God was calling us here, and this was right on that line.”

Wilcox got connected to First Mennonite by putting his name on a national registry, and after visiting in April, the church offered him the position.

“This one felt very loving and supportive and felt like it would be a great place for a first-time pastor,” he said.

He and his wife, Raquel, have two sons who are now in second and fifth grades in the Halstead-Bentley school district. The family is living in Halstead, and Raquel teaches kindergarten in Newton.

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