Pastor plans to reach out to youth
The Heartland Community Church of the Nazarene will soon have a new face in the pulpit.
Dan Eller, Blue Springs, Mo., will be the new pastor at Heartland beginning Aug. 20.
Heartland member Marilyn Bundy said the church heard Eller preach in June.
"The Sunday he was with us, he gave us his testimony," Bundy said. "He intertwined it with biblical examples. It was so well presented. We knew that if he was that good with something like that, he had to be real good in the pulpit.
"The congregation voted on him when he was done and the vote for him was absolutely unanimous," she said.
Eller said he shared his testimony because he wanted the congregation to know how God had changed his life.
"I lived a life of self-satisfaction. God delivered me from alcoholism," he said. "Since that point in time, I've been radically obedient to do anything he wants me to do."
He said part of that obedience included becoming a pastor.
"It's not anything I would just choose to do," he said. "God called me by name to do it."
Eller, who originally worked in construction sales in Kansas City, has attended night school since 1993 to prepare for the ministry.
He said he was looking forward to moving to Tonganoxie with his wife, Teresa, their two children and a niece to begin his first position as pastor.
"I'm embracing every opportunity God's given me. God's given me a passion," he said. "I love preaching and I'm looking forward to helping the church to grow inwardly and outwardly."
He said he believed youth were vital in the church's growth.
"I firmly believe the youth is our church today. I think that it is our obligation as a church to give them the opportunity to reach God. I'm willing to support them whole-heartedly and do anything for them," he said.
Heartland interim pastor Dick Sowder said Eller had a lot to contribute to the church.
"Primarily the church was looking for someone with dynamic leadership that they could really follow," Sowder said. "They were looking for someone to give them new perception that would help them to implement their vision, to do the things that make their vision come to life. Dan has good, strong leadership that will help with that."
Because Heartland is a relatively new church, he said Eller would be able to share new ideas with the congregation without facing limits set by tradition.
"Typically if the new church isn't composed of people from an established church, they don't come with pre-conceived ideas," Sowder said. "This will give Dan the opportunity to have a fresh, clean view to minister to people in the community."