Local pastorate gains new faces, bids farewell to familiar

The Rev. Dave Kerkove, pastor since 2007 of the Panther Creek Church of the Brethren, will leave next month to assume a new position at the South Waterloo Church of the Brethren. Photo courtesy Ray Harden

Three newly minted ministers have lately taken up pastoral positions in Perry churches, while a seven-year clerical veteran is leaving the area in order to shepherd a flock in eastern Iowa.

The Rev. Dave Kerkove of the Panther Creek Church of the Brethren came to the Dallas County congregation in January 2007 after six years in his first full-time pastorate in Plymouth, Ind. He will soon assume his new duties at the South Waterloo Church of the Brethren Oct. 1.

Kerkove said he “got close to a lot of people” in almost a dozen years at the Panther Creek Brethren Church. “It was a very difficult decision for us because we have dearly loved living here and ministering here, but it’s good to pass the baton on to somebody else with new ideas, fresh ideas.”

The minister and his wife, Tammy Kerkove, have two sons, Caleb and Joshua. Pastor Dave said Caleb was a mere 7 months old when the family moved to Dallas County, and now his son is entering the seventh grade.

“The time has sure flown,” he said.

Well wishers will have a chance to take their leave of Pastor Dave Sunday, Aug. 19 from 5-7 p.m., when the Panther Creek Church of the Brethren hosts their annual ice cream social, and again Sunday, Sept. 23, when Kerkove preaches his farewell sermon, followed by a potluck meal about 11:30 a.m. at the church.

At St. Patrick Catholic Church in Perry, newly ordained Deacon Dennis Patrick of Guthrie Center has begun assisting the Rev. Chris Reising at weekend Masses. Patrick will be seen at St. Pat’s on the second and fourth weekends of each month.

Patrick said he and his wife live in Guthrie Center, and they both work full-time jobs in West Des Moines.

“This is my new weekend job,” Patrick said. He studied about 4.5 years prior to his ordination last week as a deacon, including a number of classes he and his wife both attended at Conception Seminary College in Conception, Mo.

The Rev. Andres “Andy” Reyes is the new pastor of the First Baptist Church in Perry. Reyes, 33, is fresh from his training at the Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary and most recently from the Faith Baptist Bible College in Ankeny.

Pastor Andy is a native of Lorain, Ohio, and he and his wife, Mandy Reyes, have two children, 2-year-old Peter and 8-month-old Liberty. They recently moved to Perry.

“I like to do lunch,” the vivacious Reyes said, still clutching the laptop computer he just used for his Sunday sermon’s Powerpoint presentation. His theme this week was “Seeing sin as God see it,” and he preached to about 50 congregants.

The First United Methodist Church also has a brand new minister in Catherine “Cat” Stokes of Des Moines, who assumed the position of associate pastor July 1 with UMC Pastor Paul Burrow.

The soft-spoken Pastor Cat greeted members of the congregation singly and in pairs at the end of the Sunday service as they made their way to the Fireside Room. The theme of her sermon was gossip and our “need to be able to have opinions without tearing each other down,” she said.

Stokes earned a master’s degree in divinity from the St. Paul School of Theology in Kansas City.

“We need to be honest and build each other up,” the Hoover High School graduate said.


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