Larson Award Goes to Support Bi-Vocational Pastor

Post a Comment » Written on April 19th, 2007     
Filed under: News
CHICAGO, IL (April 19, 2007) – With his first baby due in June, Andy Goebel says he is especially excited to have won the $10,000 Quentin “Dusty” Larson Memorial Scholarship.

The scholarship helps reduce debt for pastors who graduate from North Park Theological Seminary (NPTS) and enter town and country ministry. It is distributed over a four-year period.

This is the first year the award has been given to someone accepting a call to become a bi-vocational youth minister, says John Wenrich, director of congregational vitality for the Department of Church Growth and Evangelism of the Evangelical Covenant Church.

“I’m elated,” Goebel says. “It’s an honor, and a huge blessing.”

Goebel will begin his ministry at the Community Covenant Church in Clear Lake, Washington, in August. He previously taught high school for three years in the community of 1,100 and hopes to return to that job to help support his church work.

Most pastors don’t aspire to bi-vocational ministry, but Goebel says he sees it as an opportunity. Teaching will help him to reach out to students, he explains.

“Bi-vocational ministers are the real heroes in the Covenant,” Wenrich says. “They just find a way to make it work – because they are so passionate about ministry, they are willing to do whatever it takes. They often are overlooked.”

“I’m a huge believer in the small church,” Goebel says, noting that rural congregations play a vital role in the life of the local community.

While at North Park, Goebel interned at the Libertyville (Illinois) Covenant Church. His previous ministry experience includes leading worship for several years at Bethany Covenant Church in Mount Vernon, Washington.

The scholarship was established in 1997 in honor of Larson, who devoted his life to ministry in small towns. The Town and Country Commission administers the scholarship. The commission serves as a liaison between rural pastors, the seminary and other denominational officials, and offers educational support opportunities.

Individuals desiring to contribute to the scholarship fund can send a check made payable to the Evangelical Covenant Church. Address the envelope to Wenrich’s attention at the Evangelical Covenant Church, 5101 N. Francisco Ave., Chicago, IL, 60625. Note on the check that the donation is for the “Quentin ‘Dusty’ Larson Fund.”

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