By Dayton Kitterman
My entire adult life has been integrated into various communities of “Jesus followers.” That wasn’t the case in my formative years, but from the time I was about 16, people of God have had significant positive influence in my life. I am now 67 years old and have served in various pastoral roles for over 48 years. God has blessed me through people who gather in His name, loving Him and loving each other. How about you? Have you been a part of a good church? Has the contact and relationship with God’s people been influential to you? It is true of my experience and I hope it is true of yours, too. Being with God’s people has been good for me.
After I had been a pastor for a while, I had a friend, who had been staying with me ask, “Where do you find such good people to be your friends?” He had observed firsthand the goodness directed my way by people who loved Jesus. I replied, “I look in the right place!” God has blessed me with such good people, both men and women, through my involvement in His family. I can say that God has shaped my life through contact with His children.
However, what has become obvious is that during the last few decades the church has become less and less influential in our culture. The reason for this is not readily understood, but what I know is that being a part of an active, alive, relevant “community of believers” is a very special gift, and life changing. For me, serving in Exeter as the interim pastor of the Church of God of Exeter has offered me that kind of positive experience. Over the years (more than one hundred years for Church of God of Exeter) God has used many good pastors to lead this church to this kind of dynamic ministry. Most recently, Pastor Michael Guzman served as the lead pastor, however, he resigned in February to become the Regional Pastor for the Central California Church of God congregations. The church was in need of a new lead pastor. He needed to be a special man with compassion for our city and a vision to involve us in each other’s lives. I think we have found such a man.
With the desire to continue that kind of positive ministry and fellowship, the Church of God of Exeter has invited Rev. Brandon Zoll to come and lead us into the future. Pastor Brandon and his wife, Jeanette, will be arriving in Exeter the first week in July with their three children. His first Sunday of preaching will be July 14. The Zolls are moving from Illinois where Brandon served effectively as the Lead Pastor of the Sullivan Church of God for five years. He is committed to continuing the vibrant ministry that has characterized this church.
During Brandon’s 33 years of life he has had many significant life experiences. First and foremost, he is a follower of Jesus and has recognized God’s call on his life. He has completed both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree, bringing a substantive Bible background. Currently he is working on a doctoral program in ministry. Apart from his ministry focus, Brandon served for six years in the Army National Guard and while on active duty completed a year-long tour of Iraq. He also loves technology and is involved in video gaming, serving as the vice chair of GameChurch Inc. This ministry has a focus on reaching into the video gaming community for Christ. Over the last couple of months, I have had the opportunity to speak with and interact with Pastor Brandon. I have come to value his humble spirit and passion for God’s kingdom work. I will continue to pray for him and this church. Would you do the same?
Let’s give Pastor Brandon Zoll a friendly welcome to Exeter.
My time serving the Church of God of Exeter is coming to an end shortly and I have had a wonderful time getting to know the fine people of Exeter. I have met many of the pastors and ministers in Exeter through the Ministerial Fellowship. I have come to know Exeter to be a very special place. May God Bless you all. And, if you’re not in church, go next Sunday! You might find some good people there.
Dayton Kitterman is interim pastor at the Church of God of Exeter and a director for the Biblical Counseling Ministry in Visalia.
Prays Together is a rotating column between the pastors of the First Presbyterian Church of Exeter, Church of Christ of Exeter, Nazarene Church of Exeter, Church of God of Exeter, the New Life Assembly of God and Rocky Hill Community Church as well as the Lemon Cove Presbyterian Church.
This column is not a news article but the opinion of the writer and does not reflect the views of The Foothills Sun-Gazette newspaper.