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Church Calls Pastor, Thanks Jim Vogel for Interim Ministry

Jim and Jeannie Vogel, interim pastor and wife at First Baptist, Horseheads, N.Y.

HORSEHEADS, N.Y.—With the calling of a new pastor, First Baptist Church says a sincere thank-you—but not good-bye—to its interim pastor.

First Baptist has been without a pastor for two years. During that time, the congregation has been blessed to have one of its members, Jim Vogel, step in to serve. Jim is executive director of the Northeast Fellowship. While the church searched for a permanent pastor, Vogel preached, taught Adult Bible Fellowship classes, met with the leadership team and staff members, led devotions for leadership and business meetings, and counseled individuals. The church says he provided much “wisdom, counsel, and stability during this time.” Meanwhile, Jim’s wife, Jeannie, ministered to First Baptist’s women.

Showing their appreciation for the Vogels’ ministry, the congregation surprised the couple with a two-person kayak during the last worship service they led, on March 19. Jeannie says, “We are so blessed by the love shown from our home church.”

Pastor Toby and Jill Locke and their family, from First Baptist, Horseheads, N.Y.

Toby Locke has accepted the church’s calling as pastor. He was previously associate pastor of Fellowship Baptist Church, Racine, Wisconsin, since 2007. Toby grew up in Santiago, Chile, where his parents were missionaries, and graduated from Baptist Bible Seminary. He says he is “passionate about teaching the Bible in a fresh, understandable way.” Fellowship Baptist says, “We are excited for the opportunity God has given him and wish him the very best!”