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Sometimes it’s hard to say goodbye. Sometimes it’s not what a person has said that makes it hard but rather what they have done and the impact they have made.
After almost a decade of service to the City of Elsberry, Star Hope Baptist Pastor Allen Calkins is saying goodbye to his home in Elsberry, as he has been called to a new congregation in Gray Summit.
“I was contacted by the church after they received my resume from a mutual friend,” said Calkins. “The research committee reviewed all that and expressed an interest, at which time we had some questions ourselves (he and wife Gerri). After we went through that round the committee came and listened to me preach at one of our gatherings.”
His first service is June 2 at Gray Summit.
Although it wasn’t much notice to say goodbye to all those Calkins touched, he said he has to follow God’s will and go where he feels God has led him. However, he said Elsberry has a strong group of ministries that serve the community well.
“At some point they will find a replacement for me here at Star Hope and until then they should have an interim in place, although no one has been mentioned at this time,” said Calkins.
Calkins went on to say how 10-years ago when he came to Elsberry the Baptist churches had been without a pastor for quite some time. Even New Hope Baptist and First Baptist remained without a pastor for several months after he arrived but still, the community, had strong ministerial leadership.
According to Calkins, his moving on to help a new flock is the same analogy as moving a rock up a hill.
Calkins went on to explain how he has not lost his drive for bringing the word of God to new and lost souls, but how it is time to allow a new leader show his presence at Star Hope.
“I’ve enjoyed my time in Elsberry,” said Calkins. “I honestly believe we have done some amazing things here and have made some amazing friends. I also feel confident that the Ministerial Alliance will remain strong and be a good influence in the community.”
Calkins said the challenges he faces in Gray Summit are the same challenges many churches are facing. The need to bring in new younger members to help carry on the word of God. One of the benefits he said he will have is there is already the start of a youth group, which is something he believes will be a big help in his mission.