Pastor Jerry Graham began serving as our Associate Pastor for Youth in September 2011. He and his wife Connie have been very active in youth ministry in the Midland area for several years, and they are an exciting addition to our pastoral staff. Here is a brief statement from Pastor Jerry regarding his personal background and his philosophy of ministry:
Thank you Mt. Haley! Connie and I would like to extend our appreciation for your warm welcome into the church as we begin another chapter in our service to God.
Connie and I have been in youth ministry for over 30 years and God has given us the passion for introducing and leading young people into a relationship with Jesus Christ. After losing our spouses many years ago, we have been married for nine years. We each have two children and 5 grandchildren. My son, Bob, lives in Indianapolis with wife, Christina and two sons. My other son, Joe, lives in Holland, MI with his wife, Tiffany and one son. Connie’s kids are Sarah, who lives in Mason, MI with her husband, Jason and two grandkids (with another on the way!) and Jonathon in Atlanta, GA with his wife, Katie. We are very blessed with all of our family. Connie is originally from St. Johns, MI and I hail from Indiana. Connie and her husband were the youth leaders at the First Church of God in St. Johns and she is also presently the State Director of Youth for Church of God Michigan. My ministry years were at the East Ashman/Eagle Ridge Church of God in Midland. Both Connie (St. Johns) and I (Midland Public) were elementary teachers and retired from our school systems after 30 years. We are excited to be bringing our love for Christ, our experience in youth ministry and our daily walks with Christ to the youth and people of Mt. Haley. With God’s direction and blessing along with your help we hope to influence a generation of young people at Mt. Haley.
As we begin our ministry, we want everyone to know that our ultimate goal is for the youth of Mt. Haley to accept and develop a relationship with Jesus Christ and to grow spiritually every day of his or her life. We have adapted seven spiritual growth principles (adapted from Andy Stanley) that we will work to develop in our youth. They are:
1. Authentic Faith: Are our kids trusting God with the critical areas of their lives? (Proverbs 3:5-6)
2. Spiritual Disciplines: Are our kids developing a consistent devotional and prayer life? (Romans 12:2)
3. Moral Boundaries: Are our kids establishing and maintaining Godly moral boundaries? (1 Thessalonians 4:3-8)
4. Healthy Friendships: Are our kids establishing healthy friendships and avoiding unhealthy ones? (Proverbs 12:20)
5. Wise Choices: Are our kids making wise choices in every area of their lives? (Ephesians 5:15-17)
6. Ultimate Authority: Are our kids submitting to the authorities God has placed over them? (Romans 13:1-2)
7. Others First: Are our kids putting the needs of others ahead of their own? (Philippians 2:3-11)
Ministry and spiritual growth is a process we all undergo and with God’s blessing we are excited to have this opportunity to serve as one of your pastors at Mt. Haley. Thanks again for your warm welcome.
Pastor Jerry and Connie