At the beginning of the year, the session announced that the search for an assistant pastor was underway. This spring, we interviewed a number of candidates and issued a call to Ross Jelgerhuis. He will join us in June, along with his wife, Sarah, and their son, Gus. Here is a word from them to the church:
Greetings future Christ Community family!
Thank you again for the loving hospitality you showed us during our visit a few weeks ago. Sarah, Gus and I are beyond thrilled and overwhelmingly honored to be joining a church where God is so clearly at work. Allow me to briefly introduce us.
Sarah was raised in a Christian home in a certain North Florida capital city that will remain unnamed. Her parents actually attended UF and they met and were married at Creekside Community Church here in town. Sarah and I met at Covenant College and have now been married almost 6 years. When Sarah is not taking wonderful care of our son Gus, or fulfilling orders for her crafting business on Etsy.com, she can usually be found scavenging thrift stores and antique shops for vintage treasures. Our son Gus is now almost 1 year old and is a joy. While life with a child has proved to be challenging, it has also been a wonderful new chapter for us.
As for me, I was born and raised in Holland, Michigan. My parents helped plant a church when I was in elementary school and thus a majority of my childhood was spent around the church. I attended Covenant College and originally pursued a degree in Engineering. One year into the program, I began to sense a growing call to ministry and switched my major to Biblical Studies. God used experiences in youth ministry, camp counseling, and mission trips to affirm my sense of call amidst moments of doubt. After college and getting married, Sarah and I spent a year in Chattanooga working and helping with a youth ministry, and then moved to St. Louis for me to attend seminary. While in seminary, I took a youth ministry job on staff at my church, and during my time there I gained much exposure to the blessings and struggles of ministry leadership. I also deeply connected with my counseling classes and decided to add the counseling degree to become more competent to meet the emotional needs of the church. As for hobbies, I enjoy watching or playing sports, reading, traveling, and exercising.
Through my candidate process at Christ Community, I have found myself becoming more and more drawn to what God is doing in and through you all. Between the humility of your leadership, vitality of your worship, richness of your fellowship, and your heart for the Gainesville community, I cannot think of a better place to serve. I am excited to learn from and do ministry alongside you all as we seek to join God in making Christ Community and Gainesville more like God’s kingdom.
Ross, Sarah, and Gus