One might wonder how anyone from a small farming town in South Carolina could find their way to a small rural town in Missouri, but the McLane family can attest when God is in charge anything is possible.
Since the beginning of the year the pastor search committee at New Hope Baptist Church has been looking for the best person to take the spot in their empty pulpit since the retirement of Pastor John Zellmer.
The committee settled on a man from Starr, South Carolina. Stephen McLane and his family now reside in the newly renovated parsonage of the church.
McLane’s wife of 22 years, Machelle, is a vital part of his walk with the Lord and is just as excited about their new home as he is. Their four children are also excited about the opportunity to explore the Midwest, especially the St. Louis area.
McLane’s past is not your stereotypical thought of a Pastor. He was 23 years old before he even asked God into his heart and to forgive a man of his stature. The other noteworthy difference for McLane was he never even owned a bible until this man he worked with showed him the light. He eventually married a preacher’s daughter, attended Fruitland Baptist Bible College in Hendersonville and began his full time ministry approximately 10 years ago. A whirlwind life for someone who didn’t even know the power that comes from up above.
He looks forward to the opportunity to reach out to those in our community who may be searching for something he can offer them in his current job.
When asked about his first impression of the Elsberry area he summed it up in one word, “Friendly”.
Currently, McLane is reorganizing a tradition that has been pushed aside in many Southern Baptist Churches, and that is Wednesday Evening services.
He expressed he knows families are busy with activities, but New Hope’s Wednesday night services will be, a Family Night of worship, a come as you are approach.
He looks forward to getting involved in the Elsberry community and enjoying the Midwest approach to life.
New Hope’s times of service for Sunday Services are 9:30 a.m. for Sunday school and 10:30 a.m. for worship service.
Feel free to stop by and welcome the new pastor and his family to our community.