Rev. Travis Grassmid, formerly Pastor of Congregational Life at Bethel United Reformed Church in Jenison, MI, has been installed as the Minister of Word and Sacraments at Zion Reformed Church (RCUS) in Menno, SD.
After he sustained a classical exam, conducted by Classis South Central of the RCUS, Rev. Grassmid and his family moved to Menno late in December, 2011. His installation service took place at 7:00 PM on the evening of Sunday, January 15, 2012.
Rev. Maynard Koerner, Professor of Ministerial Studies at Heidelberg Seminary in Sioux Falls, SD, gave the charge to the congregation, preaching from 2 Thessalonians 3:1-2 in a messaged titled, “That Thy Word Might Be Glorified.”
Rev. Michael McGee, pastor of Grace Reformed Church (RCUS) in Mitchell, SD, presented the charge to the pastor, speaking from Mark 4:26-29, on “Planting and Harvesting.”
Rev. Grassmid worked in the construction business before beginning seminary at the age of 35. He graduated from Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary in 2008, and began serving at Bethel in Jenison in the spring of 2009.
Zion Reformed Church has 156 communicant members and 181 baptized members in 79 households. Church services are regularly held at 10:30 AM with Sunday school held prior to the service at 9:30 AM. Bible studies and other classes are generally held on Sunday evenings.
Located in South Dakota’s southeast corner, Menno is a small town of about 700 residents. Most of Zion’s members are employed in farming or in agricultural related industries.
“With the increased size of farms, the number of people necessary to operate the farms has decreased,” says Rev. Grassmid, “thus this entire region is suffering from a loss of many of their children, who are forced to move elsewhere for work. A major concern with the families who remain is how to maintain the church, community and family with so many young people moving out.”
In spite of the young people exodus, Rev. Grassmid’s primary goal for his Menno ministry remains strong and focused; “Preach the Word!”
“I was blessed to begin my ministry in a strong, established church in West Michigan (Bethel URC, Jenison), which afforded the opportunity of honing the gifts with which the Lord has equipped me,” he says. “I was able to preach the Word, and spend much time with those of the congregation who were hurting. My hope and goal at Zion is to utilize those gifts so as to be used by the Lord to encourage the existing congregation toward continued spiritual growth, to strive toward yet greater unity among the body of Christ, and as the Lord affords opportunity, to evangelize and disciple those whom the Lord is drawing into His fold.”
“I understand that numerical growth is unlikely, due to the decline in population,” he adds, “however, I have learned (and am still learning!) to never underestimate the work of the Holy Spirit; I plan, by the power of God, to faithfully proclaim the good news of the gospel, and to encourage the entire congregation toward a growing witness throughout the community.”
The above article by Glenda Mathes appeared on page 10 of the February 8, 2012, issue of Christian Renewal.