MORAN — It was a long-traveled road but the Goetsch family has found their home in Moran.
Brock Goetsch, 30, became the pastor for Moran Baptist Church in May. The California native is joined by wife Ashley and son Eli, 3.
Goetsch and his wife grew up on opposite coasts — he in Lancaster, Calif., and she in the Washington, D.C., area. They met while he was teaching at West Coast Baptist College, where his father is the executive vice president of the college.
So how did the young couple make their way from the coast to the Midwest?
IN 2010 Goetsch moved to Virginia, was married and returned to school to get a masters degree through Piedmont University’s online program. While in Virginia he worked at the Pentagon in Arlington and helped start the Family Life Chaplain Program for Pentagon workers.
Goetsch counseled individuals and families on subjects like Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, marriage counseling and addiction counseling.
“It was a busy life but it was great. There’s very little that takes me by surprise now, but it prepared me for whatever life throws at me,” he said.
It was always on his mind to move toward a pastoring position and in 2012 he became a full-time youth pastor. He grew up in a Christian home and his father was an evangelist for 45 years. Ministry had a constant presence in his life.
“I knew becoming a pastor was what I was groomed for but I wanted to do it in my own way,” he said.
So he took his time following his own path in Virginia. It was Pastor Mike Edwards at Heritage Baptist Church in Virginia who helped reassure him of his pursuit.
“I attribute everything to him; he’s my mentor and hero,” Goetsch said. “He married my wife and I, he dedicated my son and ordained me.”
When the time came to look for a church he made up his mind that he wouldn’t say no to whatever church God presented them. The family visited churches in large cities and smaller communities but a small congregation in Kansas reached out to him.
The Goetsches made the trip to visit Moran Baptist in April and instantly felt at home. The congregation was friendly and welcoming.
The congregration ranged from 20 to 30 people when Goetsch came on board as senior pastor. Since then the building has filled considerably — today, about 70 to 75 people attend.
“We had four people join the church this Sunday and another person who was saved a few weeks ago was baptized,” he said. “Our congregation is very open and welcoming.”
Before taking the position the church had already put aside money to potentially add onto the existing building. It’s not uncommon for small town churches to have an older generation base in the congregation but this isn’t the case for Moran Baptist.
“We were amazed at how many children we have here,” Goetsch said. “I’ve moved my office and on Sundays I convert it to a classroom to allow more room for Sunday School. These children bring a lot of life and vitality. We have older families but we also have younger families partially because we’re young too.”
Children’s ministry is important to the Goetsches. On Oct. 28 the church will have a candy give away. The service will be geared specifically for children. After the service the children can walk around the church and receive candy from adults.
“One of the greatest compliments is the kids coming up and thanking you for the church that’s what’s real to me,” he said.
The church also is beginning work on a teen program. Ashley oversees the music and children’s ministry.
“She is an instrumental part of the ministry and prefers to be behind the scenes,” Goetsch said. “She’s a stay-at-home mom and very influential here. She’s able to do women’s counseling and has a real gift in that way.”
Brock’s background in counseling is resurfacing in the church, too. He and his wife provide counseling to families and couples.
GOETSCH said it’s important to have a strong vision for a church, and concedes his might “overwhelm” some.
“I look around and see a need for a strong, vibrant church. I want to reach out to all people across the board. Right now I have drawings for an expansion of 300 and I actually could see us going beyond that if we keep being a positive influence,
“We’re trying to build a church from the inside out,” he continued. “We don’t want people to feel down after they leave a service. We want them to feel lifted up.”
Moran Baptist is an unaffiliated Baptist church which allows the church to reach out to any church. Goetsch said the church is founded on the Bible.
Goetsch invites community members to attend any of the church’s services. Sunday School begins at 10 a.m., Sunday worship begins at 11 a.m., Sunday evening service begins at 6 p.m. and Wednesday bible study is at 7 p.m.