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PAXTON — Kevin Heiser will step down as senior pastor at Upper Room Bible Church, Paxton, this year.
Heiser will serve the church through June, and said he and his family will remain involved in the congregation and leadership of the church.
Heiser, who has served as senior pastor while also working at State Farm, Bloomington, said he will step down from his pastoral duties because “The church has grown to the point that a part-time pastor can no longer meet the needs of the growing church.”
His decision to step down was announced to the congregation following the Feb. 17 worship service.
Heiser called the move “an opportunity.”
“The church is growing and has grown consistently every year for over a decade,” he said. “We believe that growth can best continue through the efforts of a full-time shepherd for the flock.”
Heiser said it had been “laid on my heart” that a decision needed to be made. He said the church elder board is in support, but the move, which he and the board have been discussing for almost a year, is his decision.
“The growth of the past 18 months has been marvelous,” Heiser said. “This growth, coupled with the growth we believe will come, has precipitated the need to consider other options.”
Heiser and his wife, Sherry, joined the Upper Room Bible Church in 2002. They later moved their home from rural Gibson City to rural Loda. Heiser became the assistant pastor to the Rev. Daniel Kupferschmid in April 2002 and assumed the role of preaching at that time. He became senior pastor with Kupferschmid assuming his current role as pastor emeritus.
Heiser said he made the decision to step down now to give the church time “for prayer, planning and execution.”
“The elder board must have the time to make an orderly transition,” he said. “The congregation needs time to react and adjust.”
The elder board will begin meeting weekly to examine options for calling a new pastor.
A question-and-answer time will be held after a Sunday, March 3, potluck at the church, which follows the worship service. All are invited to attend.