Pat grew up going to church with his family. He primarily enjoyed the music and always had a deep desire to sing in church. Music was his passion and that has continued throughout his life. Even though he desired to sing in church, it wasn’t until May of 1974 that he truly accepted Christ as his personal Savior and understood what he had encountered. This life-changing event took place at a Gospel concert, and since then music has always been a part of Pat’s life. Pat began singing in churches, and he and three friends formed a singing group. They began doing music at their church and ministering at various area churches which fulfilled a life dream of Pat’s.
It was during this time that Pat met a minister, Dean Pofahl, who encouraged him and asked him to provide music for some of Dean’s crusades. As time went by Pat felt the Lord begin to direct him to branch out and travel on his own. It was during this time (1976 and 1978) he had the opportunity to attend the National School of Gospel Music in Murray, Kentucky, where he received instruction and voice training from various gospel groups – The Speer Family, The Blackwood Brothers, and The Stamps Quartet. In 1976 Pat was selected for a group that participated at the National Quartet Convention in Nashville, Tennessee.
In 1978 Pat sensed the Lord making a change to his ministry: he began receiving more invitations to churches and home Bible Studies to teach the Word than to sing. While singing remained a part of his ministry, teaching became more of a focus and opened more doors. It was at one of these Bible Studies that Pat met his wife of 40 years, Rose Ann.
In 1980, shortly after Pat and Rose Ann married, they sensed the Lord direct them to a small community where they pastored a church plant for four-and-a-half years. They saw the church grow, and it has continued to grow after they left; today it is a strong healthy church that is having an impact on their community and the surrounding area. In 1983 while pastoring their first church they pioneered a second work in a community about 60 miles away. They continued with this work on Sunday evenings until 1986 when he resigned to follow the Lord’s leading..
In December of 1986 Pat was asked to join a church staff as Associate Pastor. He served through pulpit ministry, praise and worship leader, and directing youth ministry. Pat and Rose Ann remained there until Pat sensed direction in 1989 that the Lord was leading him to take some time away from ministry and attend Rhema Bible Training Center in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. It was here where he received two years of instruction and growth that God assured him of the call God had given him to preach the Word. In January of 1991 God directed him to return to Columbus, Nebraska and start a church.
Today, should you go to his office, there are two Scriptures that you will find hanging above his desk, one being the Scripture the Lord gave him in January of 1991 regarding starting the church:
Then the LORD said to me, “Write my answer in large, clear letters on a tablet, so that a runner can read it and tell everyone else. But these things I plan won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed. (Habakkuk 2:2,3) New Living Translation 1996
The other Scripture came a few years later, but is a reminder of his accountability to the Lord and the people.
Herald and preach the Word! Keep your sense of urgency [stand by, be at hand and ready], whether the opportunity seems to be favorable or unfavorable. [Whether it is convenient or inconvenient, whether it is welcome or unwelcome, you as preacher of the Word are to show people in what way their lives are wrong.] And convince them, rebuking and correcting, warning and urging and encouraging them, being unflagging and inexhaustible in patience and teaching. (2Timothy 4:2) The Amplified Bible
You may ask, “What’s Pat’s heart”? Primarily it’s this:
- First, that everyone regardless of their place of ministry, whether it be janitor, children’s minister, nursery worker, praise and worship leader, pastor, parking lot attendant, or grounds keeper, is vital to the Body of Christ. His desire is that regardless of placement each one is valued the same. It’s not the job that makes you great, it’s how you do your job that makes you great.
- Second, that he does everything to prepare and encourage people to find their place in the Body.
- Third, that everyone in their place will run the race with patience and at the end hear, “Well done good and faithful servant…enter into the joy of the Lord.” (Matthew 25:23) New King James Version
In summary, Pastor Pat feels our church motto describes his number one task and that is “Preparing People for Eternity.”