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Slurpees and salvation
First Baptist Church of Sequim members feel they’ve found the right fit for a new spiritual leader. Greg Miller, 47, began as senior pastor June 19 for the 100-plus member Southern Baptist congregation on Sequim-Dungeness Avenue. He replaces retired pastor Butch Adcock, who served the church for nine years through Mother’s Day 2010.
Hailing from Oregon, Miller moved to Sequim with his wife, Jeanne, following his long career working for 7-Eleven corporation as a business consultant and her job with US Bank.
Miller said it was one of the best jobs in the world because he got to interact with people all day, mostly franchisees about their businesses.
He held that job while serving as senior pastor for Creekside Baptist Church in Tualatin, Ore.
The hiring process took about a year. Miller said he visited Sequim incognito and people greeted his family warmly at a Sunday service and took them to lunch after a service despite not knowing them.
Ed Dorstad, senior adult pastor, filled in during the break between senior pastors and sat on a pastoral search committee with 13 other church members. They sorted 180 resumes to decide on 10 finalists.
“The doors kept closing for one reason or another,” Dorstad said. “The Lord left the door open for Pastor Greg.”
The church, Dorstad said, has prayed fervently through the process for unity and direction.
“We believe the holy spirit led us to pastor Greg,” Dorstad said. “We anticipate the Lord’s going to continue doing great things here.”
Miller’s plan is to keep things simple by following Acts 2:42 — being devoted to teaching, fellowship, breaking bread and prayer.
“This church does those things well,” he said. “They pray a lot and a group of men gets together every day to pray for the community.”
One of his goals is for the church to find and continue meeting the needs of the community.
“We want to reach into lives and engage people, which leads to their salvation and them being really transformed by God’s love and power,” Miller said.
Spiritually street smart
Miller is working on his master’s of divinity degree through Golden Gate Baptist Seminary. He attributes his knowledge to years of studying biblical scriptures and becoming involved early in life with the church. Just after graduating from high school, he went on a mission trip to Cannon Beach, Ore., which he said had a profound experience on him. Miller said he felt an early calling to the ministry.
For the Sequim position, he saw the posting but was hesitant to apply at first because his daughters Caitlyn and Leanne were still in college and high school in Oregon.
One month later, a pastor friend suggested he look into it again and later he applied.
He’s finding some slight differences between his past and current churches, too. In Oregon, the church elders vote on decisions whereas in Sequim it’s a congregational vote. The demographics are vastly different, too. In Oregon, 80 percent of his church is under the age of 30 and in Sequim half of the congregation is over the age of 70, albeit with a growing young community.
A full band leads music at the Oregon church, which Sequim almost has with two keyboardists, one drummer and vocalists. Miller said they would like to have guitar players but haven’t found any yet.
Sequim musicians invited him to join the worship team but he hasn’t decided yet because he just started as pastor.
Reach Matthew Nash at firstname.lastname@example.org.