rOANOKE mEnnonite church

PASTORAL TEAM - Making up the new Pastoral Team at Roanoke Mennonite Church are, from left, Alice Kennell, Bryan Miller and Mary Kennell. (Courtesy photo)

Roanoke Mennonite Church has been around for over 100 years but it is a brand new church in a lot of ways.

The church recently underwent a structural overhaul with the aid of a transitional pastor in 2011. This resulted in a re-vitalized purpose and energy in the church which is committed to sharing God's hope and healing to everyone.

It is Roanoke Mennonite's goal that all members' gifts are to be discovered, encouraged, and utilized in living the "Kingdom Life" - regardless of age, gender, race or any other qualifier.

The Pastoral Team reflects this new vision and includes three people, Alice Kennell, Bryan Miller, and Mary Kennell. Alice and Mary were called to the Pastoral Team from within the congregation, and both installed as pastors Oct. 2, 2011 by Chuck Neufeld, Illinois Mennonite Conference Minister.

Bryan was asked to join the team following a discernment process that sought to fill out the gifts of the Pastoral Team. His installation took place Sunday, Feb. 19.

Alice is married to Jon Kennell and they have four adult children and 10 grandchildren living in Central Illinois. Alice is a retired public health nurse and cherishes the community of believers who seek to live like Jesus Christ. To encourage persons to pray and learn how to be obedient to the Holy Spirit is her passion.

Mary is married to Roger L. Kennell and they are blessed with four children, three of which still reside at home. She works part time in home health care and as part of her pastoral ministry role especially enjoys working with small groups.

She values the Pastoral Team model because it sets an equal value on leadership and servant-hood. Mary has a deep desire to walk with God and be open and alert to the adventures the Holy Spirit puts in her path.

Bryan and his wife, Jolene both grew up in Ohio and have three children. He graduated from Hesston College in 1997 and has since been active in various leadership positions. He has worked with different ages in his home church, including youth ministry, small groups, adult Sunday school and mentoring. He has also served with and led several mission trips.

Seven years ago, Bryan felt a call to pastoral ministry, which was affirmed by those who knew him well. He continued to respond to that call by seeking further education at Hesston's Pastoral Ministries Program in 2010. Although this move has involved sacrifice on the part of Bryan as well as his entire family, he makes the following statement that helps sum up his firm commitment to seeking God's will in his life.

"I have a passionate desire to follow God wherever He may lead me, and to do whatever God asks of me." This desire is evident in Bryan and Jolene's outlook, and their life decisions. Bryan loves people and his passion is for youth and families. Bryan, Jolene, and family now make their home in Roanoke.

Everyone is welcome to worship at Roanoke Mennonite Church, which is located at 1195 N CR 1600 E (2 miles north of Eureka on Rt. 117, then 2 miles east on 1200). The phone number is 467-3460. The worship service starts at 9:30 a.m. followed by adult, youth, and children's Sunday school at 10:45.

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