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Meet the New Pastor And His Family

bob and gina swickard         swickard family

   It is an honor to greet you in the strong name of our Risen Savior, Jesus. My name is Bob Swickard

and as of yesterday, (as I write this,) it became official that I have been appointed to be your pastor. With that in mind, I wanted to take the opportunity to share a bit of my story with you.
   I was born and raised in Charleston, Il., the son of a funeral director and a music teacher. After my first year at EIU as an undecided major, I joined the Navy as a Hospital Corpsman. I served at Naval Hospital Great Lakes for a year and a half and then served 2 1/2 years with the 2nd Marine Division at Camp LeJeune, NC. I later returned to EIU as a Music Theory & Composition major, where I met my wife, Gina.
   Although I had been raised in a Methodist church, I was a nominal Christian at best. After being invited to a retreat called “Walk to Emmaus,” my eyes were opened to the reality of salvation and the transformative love of Jesus. All the stories that I had heard as a child suddenly became real. After returning home, I couldn’t get enough of the Bible, church, of prayer time, or of memorizing
Scripture. My life was changed.
   An old friend invited me to do some ministry events with No Greater Love and after attending several ministry experiences God had made it clear that He was calling me into full time ministry. I’m
so thankful for the ways God uses to shepherd us. And as much as I have been blessed by amazing Godly mentors of all denominations through the years, I still love introducing people to Jesus and
watching them discover the joy of a relationship with Him.
John 10:10 “I have come that you may have life and have it abundantly.”
   Gina is from Western Springs, Il. She gave her life to Jesus at age 6 and always enjoyed her “role” as a PK. Gina’s parents were missionaries in Portugal. Her dad was a world evangelist with Billy Graham and spoke all over the world with Young Life. He also pastored the only church Billy Graham ever pastored in Western Springs, IL for 22 years. Gina graduated from EIU with a bachelor’s degree in music education and received her master's degree from U of I in Springfield in Educational Leadership. She has enjoyed singing with an opera company, teaching private voice lessons, directing
musicals, choirs and dinner theaters. Most of all, she enjoyed her role as mom to our four children.
3 John 1:4 - I have no greater joy than to hear my children are walking in the truth.
   Now, we have four grown kids. Elyssa, 27, teaches private voice and piano as well as directs children's choirs. She is married to Chase Carlisle who is the worship leader at Springfield First UMC

in Springfield, IL. They have our only grandson, Emerson, with a second on the way. Our son, Joshua, 26, is an actor in Los Angeles. Kalia, almost 22, is married to Bryce Mast and they are both working in a UM church in Upper Sandusky, Ohio: Kalia as assistant youth director and Bryce as a worship leader. Elayna, 19, is currently attending Indiana Wesleyan University as an Exercise Science major.

   Through the years, the Lord has given me a heart for missions, the joy of music, a commitment to the Scriptures, a love for people and most passionately, a desire to share the gospel in such a way that people get it. I know what life was like before Jesus, and I know what life is like with Jesus. There is no comparison.
John 3:30 “He must become greater, I must become less.”
   So that’s the Reader’s Digest version of our family and our stories. I’m looking forward to hearing your stories! We love the Lord and we love His Church. And we are looking forward to being with you all and seeing how the Lord will move as we partner together in ministry. Until then we are praying for you in the transition.

Blessings, Bob Swickard.

Sunday Times
8:00 a.m. - Traditional
9:17 a.m. - Contemporary
10:45 a.m. - Blended
6:00 p.m. - Cornerstone Deaf Church
6:30 p.m. - Bible Study

6:30 p.m. - Pray, Praise, and Preaching
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Address:  1200 Moreland Dr.
                  Belleville, IL 62223
Phone:  618-397-5994
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