Ohio native begins new ministry as pastor of local Christian church

0

IDAHO FALLS – The new year brings new faces to CrossPoint Community Church in Idaho Falls.

Aaron Duvall, 39, moved to Idaho Falls last month with his wife, Chera, and six-year-old daughter, Harper, to become the church’s new pastor. After a warm welcome from community members, Aaron tells EastIdahoNews.com that they are happy to call eastern Idaho their new home.

“It’s been really good. People have been incredibly nice,” Aaron says. “People brought us dinner every night for the first two weeks we were here. It was great — very welcoming, very hospitable.

RELATED | Local churches unite for a virtual event this month

Aaron steps into the role previously held by Bob Sherwood, who stepped down more than six months ago after about 15 years to spend more time with his family.

A 15-year ministry has been the trend for the last two pastors of Crosspoint Community Church and when asked if he plans to continue the tradition, Aaron enthusiastically replied, “I hope so.

“I’m done moving, I can tell you that,” Aaron laughs.

The Duvalls hail from Painted Post, New York, a small rural community near the Pennsylvania border, which Aaron says has a similar vibe to eastern Idaho. The move to Idaho Falls is the couple’s third move in 16 years and the longest and most expensive to date.

Although this is not Aaron’s first pastoral work, he says he is looking forward to “finding his rhythm” in this new ministry and “discovering how he can serve the community and the church”.

“Anyone can just be someone who talks on stage, but to serve and be involved in people’s lives, it takes years to be there and show up.”

Aaron Duvall during a service at CrossPoint Community Church on Sunday, January 2. | Live stream screenshot

A life of ministry

The choice to pursue a life of ministry is deeply rooted in Aaron’s upbringing. His father was a pastor in southern Ohio when he was a child, and he often went to visit people with him.

“When I was five or six, he bought me a little suit…to go with him to the hospital,” Aaron recalled. “He called me his associate pastor. Looking back, it might have been a little complicated, but I loved it. I saw people’s lives transform…and as I got older I thought that was something I could be a part of.

During his college years, he worked at his father’s church during the summer. When he officially became a pastor at age 23, he spent the first three years as an associate pastor under the tutelage of his father in southern Ohio.

He spent the next 10 years at Ohio Christian University before becoming the pastor of a New York congregation.

“Last year we just started to feel like there was maybe a tug (to come to Idaho). My wife was going through cancer and there was COVID. It was like one crisis after another says Aaron.

Chera, a Nampa native, has family ties to the Gem State and the couple spent a lot of time in Idaho because of it.

Aaron recalls a conversation with a lady in Nampa last spring while playing golf with his father-in-law that sparked the initial spark for his move to the area.

“We were paired with her (in one way or another). Honestly, if I saw her, I (probably wouldn’t even remember her). She heard me say something about ministry and she said, ‘Are you a pastor?’ says Aaron.

The woman, who attended the Church of the Nazarene in Nampa, ended up passing Aaron’s name to the district superintendent for the church’s intermountain district and he and Aaron then crossed paths.

Aaron was invited to speak at CrossPoint in October before being offered the position of pastor.

“It was kind of crazy. It wasn’t something either of us orchestrated. God just kind of moved in and now here we are,” he says.

From the early days of observing his father’s ministry to becoming a pastor himself, Aaron says he is constantly reminded that “none of this is about me” and he feels his role is not both to lead and to be “the first disciple.”

“Jesus is the leader and he is the leader and I just try to do what he tells me to do,” he says. “As a pastor, you are a servant first. You’re the first one who should come out to take care of people.

RELATED | In the United States, places of worship are struggling to restore attendance

RELATED | A 119-year-old congregation in Shelley bids farewell to the church which closes this month

On the heels of a turbulent season in US history where COVID-19 impacted the way people worship and many churches saw dwindling numbers, Aaron says most people looking for hope and purpose.

As he takes the reins of CrossPoint Community Church, he is thrilled to see where “God is leading” and how it is bringing him and his congregation together.

“I think the church can offer (hope and purpose) in real, tangible ways and I’m thrilled to see not just what God is doing at CrossPoint, but to see what God is doing (across eastern Idaho) in the coming years to help people connect with their purpose and the hope it offers,” he says.

CrossPoint Community Church is located at 1900 Grandview Drive in Idaho Falls. Masses are held on Sundays at 8:30 a.m. and 10 a.m.

Share.

Comments are closed.