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Senior Profiles

May 14, 2015

Paul Austin, from Lincolnshire, UK, taught for seven years at a Bible college in Kampala, Uganda. When his UK minister recommended he attend seminary, he decided on Mid-America. While in the States, he and Kilby and daughter Hilary (2) attend Redeemer URC in Dyer, IN, but remain members of Durham Presbyterian Church (Evangelical Presbyterian Church of England and Wales). He hopes to serve that denomination, but first plans to settle his family in Durham. “My goal is to put down roots in our home church before looking for a call to ministry. I hope to support the local community and be involved as a lay-person while continuing to learn and grow myself.”

Justin Beach and Bonnie have three children: Paxton (4), Evie (2), and Vera (9 mos). Justin taught youth and was involved in missions at Covenant Community Church (PCA) in Scottsdale, AZ, as well as working with an inner-city church (New City Phoenix) to mentor underprivileged youth and organize community restoration projects. The Beach family belongs to Cityview Presbyterian Church (PCA) in the west loop of downtown Chicago. He seeks a pastoral call in the PCA and has a strong desire to church plant. “I hope to preach, teach and evangelize all ages, discipling them to grow in love for Christ, and I hope to encourage the church’s role in caring for the needy.”

Steve Carr and Crystal have four children: Steven, Jr. (7), Hannah (5), Charles (4), and David (8 mos). The family belongs to Redeemer RCUS in Golden Valley, MN. Steve previously led youth groups and taught junior high Sunday school. He also was involved with jail ministry, led Bible studies, and exhorted. His pastor, a Mid-America alumnus, heartily recommended the Seminary. Steve hopes to receive a call as Minister of the Word and sacraments in an RCUS congregation. “I hope that He will use me to preach Christ and Him crucified in order to build up His church and perfect His saints. My only desire is to do His will in a faithful manner.”

Albert Couperus came to seminary from New Zealand, where he worked for 16 years as a physical therapist. His family belongs to Wanganui Reformed Church, and he hopes to serve as an ordained minister in the Reformed Churches of New Zealand, which is currently experiencing a shortage of pastors. He and Hanneke have four daughters: Michaela (13), Grace (11), Kate (8), and Zara (7). They would like to express their thanks for the overwhelming support, prayer, and blessings received during their time in the States. “We see this as a collective journey and we could not have done it without the support of the churches here, as well as our supporters back home.”

Sung hwan Kan and Inok Kim with their two children, Sophia (4) and Grace (1), belong to the Holland International Church in Holland, MI. Originally from Seoul, South Korea, Kan was ordained in 2010 in the Presbyterian Church in Korea (Baekseok). He served in various capacities prior to coming to Mid-America for his Master of Theological Studies degree. He is open to the Lord’s leading into further ministry, teaching, or PhD study in a Reformed denomination. “I eagerly hope that God use me to serve Korean congregants in the States. Because they are thirsty and hungry for the word of God in Korean, I want to have the opportunity to serve them.”

Darryl Kretschmer and his wife Hsiang-I (Anita) have two children, Lydia Jo (8) and Johann (4), and expect another. He is originally from Pioneertown, CA, and hopes to be ordained in the OPC with a view toward becoming a foreign missionary. Prior to seminary, he served as a missionary in Taiwan and China and is fluent enough to preach in Mandarin Chinese. “After being a missionary for over nine years, I realized I lacked the theological education to be effective in ministry. I pray that the Lord will use me to minister the gospel to his flock: through the Word and sacraments, counseling, evangelism, encouragement, and the other facets of ministry this entails.”

James Oord grew up in western Michigan, witnessing his father’s ministry. While in college, he began to desire to share with others the wonders of God’s grace. James and Raylene (who is from Alberta, Canada) belong to Community URC (Schererville, IN), where he will serve as pastoral intern this summer. “I pray that in whatever church I serve, the congregation and I will grow together to be Jesus-centered people, seeing in Him the fulfillment for every need and the hope for every longing of our hearts. Mid-America has blessed my own spiritual and theological growth.  The professors didn’t simply teach me how to preach and teach, they taught me to love the church.”

Aaron Warner and Audra have three children: Caedmon (6), Josiah (4), and Abbiel (9 mos.). A life-long member of Bethany URC in the Grand Rapids, MI, area, Aaron has worked at different jobs, including several years as an electrician. He mentored men with substance abuse, taught junior high youth group and Sunday school, and served on short term mission trips to Trinidad and Costa Rica. Shadowing a missionary was one way the Lord prepared him for ministry. “I hope to serve God in any way that He calls, but I have a heart for missions and church planting. I pray that someday I will be able to serve Christ’s church in that capacity.”

Graduation is Thursday, May 21 at 7:30 pm at Bethel Christian Reformed Church in Lansing, IL.

Back row, left to right: Justin Beach, Steve Carr, James Oord, Darryl Kretschmer
Front row, left to right: Paul Austin, Sung hwan Kan, Albert Couperus, Aaron Warner

 

 

 

 

 

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