Since last April, Rev. Stan Rushton and his wife Jan have been quietly leading their flock at Marceline’s New Hope Baptist Fellowship, located at 210 W. Hayden Street, north of the old St. Francis Hospital.
Preferring to talk more about the church he has been called to than himself, Stan says, “We’re excited about the growth of our church; and because of God’s grace, we’re thriving.” At a time when it’s a challenge to attract a younger crowd typically unconcerned with its mortality, New Hope Baptist Fellowship is filling with the exuberance of young adults.
Attendance has doubled since the Rushton’s came on the scene, with new members being added as the Lord has willed. But there’s still plenty of room for more of all ages in both the Rushton’s hearts and the New Hope Baptist Fellowship Sanctuary. New Hope Baptist’s ministry includes Children’s Church during Sunday morning worship and Youth Fellowship on Sunday nights at 5 PM.
“We care more about a person’s soul than how he or she dresses for church, so come as you are,” welcomes Jan.
While Rev. Stan Rushton is a Linn County native—he was born in Brookfield in 1950 and raised primarily in Linneus—he feels most at home behind the pulpit, no matter where it might be located. Nonetheless, he and Jan feel a special affinity for the congregation at their latest assignment. “I feel that this congregation is hungry for the Word, and Jan and I as well as the members of our New Hope congregation have a passion to see the lost saved,” explains Stan. “We want to see the saved grow in their relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ, His Son.”
Stan shares that around the time he graduated from Linn County R-1 High School, he “surrendered to God’s service under the ministry of Clifford Wrisinger,” his pastor at Linneus Baptist Church when he was 18. Stan then continued his theological training at Southwest Baptist College in Bolivar and has since continued to grow as a theologian by “listening to the teaching and preaching of anointed men of God.”
When asked when his theological training was completed, Stan replies with characteristic humility, “After 30 years in the ministry, I have to say that I’m still a work in progress.”