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Linn County Leader - Brookfield, MO
  • Park Baptist Welcomes New Youth Minister

  • The journey for Joel Sprague from Oklahoma to Missouri may seem like a long one, but for the new Youth Minister of Park Baptist Church in Brookfield, the journey to his calling actually came together quickly. Now, Joel Sprague, his wife Erica, and children Harrison and Jude are settling into their new home and work.
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  • The journey for Joel Sprague from Oklahoma to Missouri may seem like a long one, but for the new Youth Minister of Park Baptist Church in Brookfield, the journey to his calling actually came together quickly.  Now, Joel Sprague, his wife Erica, and children Harrison and Jude are settling into their new home and work.
    Late last month, Sprague was hired by Park Baptist Church to replace Rev. Tim Huff, who had left the congregation earlier in the year.  Sprague, at only age 34, will complete his ordination at the beginning of 2014.
    “I will be officially ordained in January,” said Joel.  “I have been in the ministry for over 10 years, and have been a Youth Pastor for over two years.”
    Sprague looks forward to spreading the Work of Christ to the younger members of the congregation.  “The best part of my job is being able to share Jesus Christ with others,” said Joel.
    The journey to Park Baptist began with Joel’s parents, also in the ministry, who had relocated to Branson. “My parents had moved to Branson, and we have never lived more than an hour-and-a-half from them,” said Joel.  “I had Erica look for jobs as a Youth Pastor within a three or four hour drive of them.”
    Joel, at a previous job in sales, had worked near Knob Knoster and knew that a small town like Brookfield would be a good fit for his young family.
    “I was looking for positions in Missouri,” said Erica.  “I would research the town, use Google to virtually walk the streets, and ask myself if we could raise our boys there.  If I liked the town, I would tell Joel about the job.”
    It turned out to be good for Park Baptist Church that Erica liked what she saw of Brookfield on Google, as the Sprague’s are enjoying their new home.
    “Things have been better than good so far,” said Joel.  “The people are so good here.  I was looking for a drum stool, and the business owner just gave it to me for free.”
    “We feel blessed beyond belief, the people in town are so nice,” agreed Erica.  “We have had people give us food, toys for the kids, and the Black’s let us stay with them for two weeks while our house was being finished.”
    Joel is an active fan of sports, citing the Washington Nationals as his favorite baseball team.  He also played basketball competitively, and is a big fan of “Pistol” Pete Maravich.
    Erica is a former teacher, and is a big health and exercise advocate.  She enjoys bike riding, baseball, and shopping at thrift stores.
    Page 2 of 2 - Joel has already taken well to the Youth Minister position at Park, and has also brought his musical skills to the Praise Band.

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