Assemblies welcomes new pastor

Pastor Rob Gitzel last week in his office at the Assemblies of God Church in Milaca.

The Assemblies of God Church in Milaca welcomes its new senior pastor, Rob Gitzel, to the community.

“The church was searching for a new pastor, and God opened up a door for us to come here,” he said.

Gitzel began his ministry pursuit at North Central Bible College (now North Central University) in Minneapolis, graduating in 1994. He and his wife, Amy, and their four youngest children moved to Milaca this fall from upper Michigan. Their oldest two sons are following in their father’s footsteps. Christopher, 20, is enrolled at North Central University, while Zachary, 18, is doing missionary work with Youth With A Mission.

“He’s in South Korea now on a seven-week mission trip and we’re missing him,” Gitzel said. “He just has a heart for ministry right now. Since he was 4-years-old, that’s all he wanted to be was a missionary.”

Abby, 15, Joshua, 13, Jeramy, 10, and Lilyanna, 4, are adjusting well to the family’s latest move and attending new schools in Milaca.

Along with a desire to lead others in faith, Gitzel also passed down the talent for music to his children. Abby and Joshua play percussion in the Milaca schools bands, Christopher is studying music in college, “and my son Zach, he just makes a joyful noise,” Gitzel said laughing. “His gifting is serving people and he’s a mechanic, but he didn’t get that from me.”

Gitzel has just finished the required paperwork and background checks to volunteer with the school’s cross country program.

“I like to run at least three miles a day, except for Sunday,” he said.

He has also been meeting with the local ministerial group of area pastors once a month.

The challenge moving forward is to achieve what Gitzel has set out as his main goal at the Assemblies of God — to “connect to God, grow in Christ, serve the world.”

“To me, the first step is when people come to our services that they’ll have a connection to God that they’ll never forget,” he said. “You can’t just come to church. We need to grow with God. There’s plenty of churches that have lots of people come in and occupy a pew. I believe God wants us to be the church. He wants us to be involved.”

For the full story, see the Thursday, Oct. 18 print edition of the Times.