RANGELY I Those who have lived in Rangely for very long know that it can be difficult to hire employees in many fields and, over the last year, Rangely Christian Church has learned that finding a minister is no different.
Until this month, Rangely Christian Church had been without a full time pastor for 13 months. After a long search, they recently welcomed Pastor Shannon Brumfield and his family into their church. Shannon, his wife Krystal and their three children, Gabriel (9), Nathaniel (7) and Bethanie (2), moved to Rangely three weeks ago from Wilmore, Kent., where he had been working toward his master’s degree in divinity. Since moving to Rangely, Brumfield has learned a lot about living in the small community while feeling out his new role at Rangely Christian Church.
Brumfield grew up outside Columbus, Ohio, where he was raised in a church where his uncle ministered. His uncle influenced his decision to go into the ministry. His mother, whom he describes as “a very prayerful woman,” also played a key role in the decision. Brumfield feels his mother’s dedication to prayer got him through some rough high school years.
Prior to working on his master’s degree and moving to Rangely, Brumfield was an associate pastor in a small town in Ohio. However after the deaths of a brother and his mother, as well as a personal health scare, the Brumfields felt it was time for a change.
For Brumfield, who had never been further west than Chicago, Rangely has certainly provided that change. He says the hardest part of the relocation was getting the kids to feel excited about moving instead of despair about leaving all they knew. However, Brumfield said that once they got to Rangely they “fell in love with the town because people were so kind.”
“We haven’t met a single person who has been mean or rude, and everyone seemed to already know who I was,” he said.
Another benefit to Rangely living is the wildlife.
Brumfield said the family members are thrilled to look out the window and see deer wandering through the yard. As an experienced hunter, Brumfield is also excited about the hunting opportunities and is ready to try his hand with both mule deer and elk hunting next fall as well as experience fly fishing for the first time.
Pastor Brumfield is also very eager to settle into his new church and leadership role. With a personal goal of staying with Rangely Christian Church for at least the next 10 years, Brumfield is taking his time getting to know his congregation and their strengths.
He hopes to quickly bring small groups into the church whose focus will be bringing the Bible into their lives in a realistic way as well as starting a quarterly community service program.
Brumfield, who described his ministry style as fun and humorous, said that service is what he is most passionate about.
Another area he plans to focus on is promoting a family-first message and encouraging families to enjoy church.
“It’s brutal out there right now for families, and we want to help them find the joy in God,” he said, He would also like to help encourage some of the positive trends he sees right now in faith ministry by developing strong relationships within the church.
Brumfield enjoys seeing congregation members pray and break bread together as they delve into the Bible and its meaning. He has been impressed with the ability of his congregation to truly enjoy one another.
Rangely Christian Church Elder Hoot Gibson was involved in the search process as the church reviewed and interviewed candidates. After the long search, Gibson was happy when the search committee unanimously agreed that Brumfield was the man for the job.
Gibson expressed confidence and excitement in their new minister and his ability to bring new growth to the church.
Gibson said that Brumfield is doing a great job so far and that he is “confident the whole family will be an asset to the entire community.”