Calvary Monument Bible Church welcomes its fourth senior pastor
BY DAVID O'CONNOR, Staff Writer
The Rev. Bryan Sanders is coming to a church that has had only three senior pastors since its incorporation in 1953.
So the new senior pastor at Calvary Monument Bible Church of Paradise is "humbled and privileged to be standing on the shoulders" of the men who have gone before him in the post, he says.
Sanders, a Berks County native with 16 years of ministry experience, will be welcomed officially at Monument Bible, 1660 Mine Road, at a service of dedication on Sunday.
The 6:30 p.m. service will be followed by a reception in the church's fellowship hall.
Sanders, 45, was born and raised in Mohnton.
He received a bachelor of arts degree from the former Pillsbury Baptist Bible College in Minnesota, then earned a master of divinity degree from Calvary Baptist Theological Seminary, Lansdale, before completing a doctor of ministry degree studies at Westminster Theological Seminary.
At Calvary Monument, Sanders follows in the footsteps of Pastor Emeritus Bob Reid, who served the church from 1979 to 2011, and the Rev. Clarence Lefever, who served the church body for 45 years, beginning in 1932.
"We're absolutely blessed and thrilled to have an opportunity to be here," Sanders says of his family, which includes his wife, Sheryl, and daughters Victoria, age 16, Olivia, 13, and Ava, 8.
Noting the account from the 15th chapter of the Gospel of John -- the story of the vine and the branches -- Sanders says that "it glorifies the Lord when we seek more fruit," spiritually speaking.
"Making more and better disciples is always our goal."
Calvary Monument is an independent, nondenominational Bible church that began as the Monument Church in 1885.
According to its website, calvarymonument.org, it was built by the Eckert family to serve the spiritual needs of the men working in the nearby nickel mines in the late 19th century, and was named for the large marble monument that marked family patriarch William Eckert's grave in the adjacent cemetery.
The church was used by several congregations before incorporating under its current name in 1953.
Along with Lefever and Reid, the Rev. Ken Wilcox served as church senior pastor in the 1970s.
Sanders began his ministry in 1997 at High Point Baptist Chapel in Geigertown, serving as pastor of student ministries.
Most recently, he was associate pastor at Downing- town's East Brandywine Baptist Church.
Calvary Monument aims to be "fully offered to God in worship" and discipleship, committed to each other and to service "and relentlessly dedicated to evangelism," as its worship and special projects coordinator Edie Weaver states.
The church holds Sunda morning worship services at 8:15 and 10:45, with Sunday School/ABF classes at 9:30.