Family ministry is the focus of Pastor Jeff Freshour, who arrived with his family from Rogue River Sept. 1, to accepted an associate pastorship at the Madras Conservative Baptist Church.
>Freshours excited about being part of a growing community
Since he was a junior in high school, Freshour had been interested in a ministerial career, but instead, put off Bible School and started working with a contractor building houses after high school.
Then an accident steered him in another direction. "After three years in construction I had an accident and dislocated my shoulder and felt the Lord was nudging me, so I started going to Multnomah Bible College in Portland," he related.
Before going to college he had met Mona, a girl who had grown in in the Puget Sound area and whose parents were AWANA missionaries for the Northwest. AWANA is sort of like a Christian Boys and Girls Scouts, he explained.
Mona attended Western Baptist College for a year, and after they were married in 1985, she went to work to help put him through school.
Freshour's first full-time pastoral assignment was at Rogue River, where he served nine years as the youth pastor, then two years doing family ministry. During the summers, he attended Multnomah Biblical Seminary to obtain a master of arts degree in pastoral studies.
He was happy in Rogue River and wasn't looking to change jobs, but after being approached two different times about the Madras position, they felt the Lord was directing them here.
The Freshours now have been married 16 years and have three children, Kara, 12, Courtney, 10, and Caleb, 6.
"The Madras schools have been wonderful and the children are adjusting very well," Mona said. She will be taking a year off from work to help the kids adjust by getting involved with field trips and other school functions.
As a family, they enjoy going on bike rides, listening to music and singing together, and having friends over. "In the summer we're looking forward to getting out and doing some camping and swimming at Lake Billy Chinook," Jeff said.
In his new position, he said his focus will be on marriage enrichment and parenting classes and overseeing the children's ministry.
"My approach is to offer classes to prevent problems in marriage, rather than counseling and corrective classes," he noted.
Eventually, he would like to see the church offering support groups for singles, single parents, and blended families.
Both Freshours are looking forward to the coming year at Madras Conservative Baptist Church. "We feel this church is just on the edge of booming and exploding and we are excited about being a part of that," Mona related.