From the Pulpit: Preaching, teaching & serving

Sunday, November 29, 2009
The Rev. Darius Wentz is pastor of First Free Will Baptist Church in Cape Girardeau. (Fred Lynch)

The Rev. Darius Edward Wentz, 39, is the new pastor at First Free Will Baptist Church of Cape Girardeau. He became the church's pastor in August and moved here in October. He spends time getting settled and unpacked in his family's new home. "I look forward to making new friends and getting involved in the community," Wentz said. Wentz was born in California and raised in Missouri and has nine years' experience being a pastor. He said he enjoys riding his motorcycle, reading, listening to talk radio, spending time with his wife and son and two spoiled dogs, and collecting memorabilia from the 1950s television show "The Honeymooners."

"I am also a big Alfred Hitchcock fan and enjoy watching scary, but clean, movies as well as sporting events, especially the UFC," Wentz said.

How long have you been involved with First Free Will Baptist Church? I am the new pastor. My wife Jennifer, son Jamin and myself have been here for about a month.

What drew you to serve the church in a leadership role? We had been blessed with a very fruitful ministry in Farmersville, Calif., where I had been the senior pastor for the last six years. God then called us to Cape Girardeau, opening doors and making it clear to us that this is where he wanted us to serve.

What education/background/studies did you go through to become a pastor? I have a bachelor's degree in Bible and Christian Ministry from California Christian College in Fresno, Calif.; a master's degree in religion from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va. I have also served as a police chaplain for the past five years in Farmersville and have completed courses from the ICISF (International Critical Incident Stress Foundation Inc.) in Chaplain basic training, counseling, responding to school crisis and critical incident stress management.

What do you think makes Free Will Baptist Church special? Our church is very loving and friendly, and we sincerely desire to impact our community for Jesus Christ. We are very excited about being used by God to serve and minister to the people of Cape Girardeau and the surrounding communities.

What's your favorite verse and why? I have several, but I would have to say John 11:25-6 are at the top of my list. "Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?" We find here a great truth about Christ ("I am the resurrection and the life"). Second, we find a great fact about those who believe in him ("He that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live"). Third, we find a great question from Jesus that every person must answer, ("Believest thou this?") How one answers this all important question has eternal ramifications.

What program have you done with First Free Will Baptist Church that you are proud of and why? Since I am new here, I can only comment on the fact that our church has been serving the community for over 40 years and we are looking forward to making an even greater impact in the coming months and years. One thing we are planning for 2010 will be a celebration service as we will finish paying off our church property sometime next fall.

What events or occasions does your church have coming up? ... As mentioned above we are planning a special service in 2010 celebrating the paying off our church mortgage.

What's your favorite day of the week and why? Monday. Being called by God to preach his word is an honor and a privilege. When you have done what God has called you to preach for that particular Sunday, that is the best night's sleep a preacher will get. You wake up Monday morning with a wonderful sense of peace and accomplishment. It's also the day I take off to rest and recharge.

What's your favorite part of being a pastor? Three things: preaching, teaching and serving others.

Do you have a prayer, psalm or verse you would like to give our readers for the day? Yes. Jesus says in Matthew 28:20B " And lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen."

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