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New pastor comes to First Mennonite Church in Aberdeen

December 30, 2016

ABERDEEN — There’s a new pastor at First Mennonite Church in Aberdeen.

Kevin Chupp and his wife, Jessica, who is serving as the secretary, recently moved to the small city in Bingham County. Both are from Indiana.

“We’re really excited. This is my first full-time ministry out of seminary,” Chupp said.

Still, Chupp is no stranger to the ministry. His father, Ken Chupp, is also a pastor, so in a way, he’s joining the family business.

Chupp had originally planned to pursue a career in art; however, a youth pastor encouraged him to use his gifts and talents for the church. He subsequently started taking ministry classes, and he said he began to feel like serving as a pastor was something he was supposed to do.

Chupp earned his bachelor’s degree in international ministry from Bethel College in Mishawaka, Indiana, and then went on to Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Indiana. Eventually, he was approached about the possibility of serving in Aberdeen, and Chupp and his wife decided to visit the area.

“We didn’t know a whole lot about Idaho,” he said, but he added that they ended up really liking the area.

And he felt called there.

Chupp has now been serving as the church’s pastor for a few months, and he is enjoying the work. He calls Aberdeen a friendly and open town, and he says he has liked getting to better know the people there.

Chupp estimates that between 40 and 50 people attend the church services on Sundays, and he’s hoping to draw more there in the future. One of his tasks is to bring new life to the church that is more than 100 years old, he said.

“(We’re looking for) ways to be open to younger people and different people who don’t come from this background,” he said.

The church, which is at 381 W. Washington St., holds Sunday school at 9:45 a.m., followed by the main service at 11 a.m. It also holds Bible study Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m.

While the Mennonite church may not be right for someone who is looking for the latest trend in religion, Chupp believes those who are seeking a welcoming congregation will find it in Aberdeen. He encourages people to attend the services.

“(If you want to) become part of our church family here, we’ll invite you in with open arms,” he said.

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