Ministry — Longtime childrens ministry teacher Dave Holmes leaves Newberg Foursquare after 24 years, serving closer to home

Despite moving from Newberg to Dayton 11 years ago, Dave Holmes and his family have continued to be faithful members at Newberg Foursquare Church.

A middle school teacher in McMinnville, Holmes has worked in children’s ministry at the church for the past 24 years, but at some point in the last year he realized the only thing he drove to Newberg for anymore was to attend church and teach. In the past six months, Holmes and his family began feeling a call to worship and serve a little closer to home, choosing to step away from the church last month. by: SUBMITTED - Long service - Dave Holmes has served as a children's minister at Newberg Foursquare Church for      nearly a quarter of a century.

“I don’t know exactly where God is leading us, but we felt like we needed to be more part of this community (McMinnville),” Holmes said. “I love Newberg Foursquare and what they’re doing. It’s a great reason to drive to Newberg, but I don’t think that’s what God has for us.”

Holmes’ departure is a bittersweet one for children’s pastor Kim Lopez, who oversees a program that ministers to more than 200 kids ranging from infants to fifth-grade students.

“I have mixed emotions,” Lopez said. “I can tell him the lesson and ask what he thinks, or tell him what I’m thinking and he’s just got it. Those (kind of people) are far and few between, but I’m also excited to see what they’re going to do to impact that community.”

Lopez characterizes Holmes as an “amazing,” “creative” and “extremely gifted” teacher who will be sorely missed.

“He just has a way of getting kids to do what they need to do just through his style,” she said. “He is the best Simon Says teacher you could ever imagine. He is very outdoorsy, so he brings in a lot of ideas from nature. He loves birds and fishing and things like that. The kids love him.”

For his part, Holmes has a similar level of respect for Lopez, remarking that her administrative skills and talent have made him an even better teacher.

“I’m energetic and I try to be as visual and active as possible when I teach, using object lessons, skits, magic tricks or what we call total physical response, where kids do motions to something,” Holmes said. “I try to keep kids involved and make church fun.”

The church held a going away party for Holmes Jan. 26, drawing about 130 current and former students and their families.

“I watched kids that I had as 2- and 3-year-olds that are now adults and leaders as well,” Holmes said. “Just to see God’s faithfulness over that amount of time is very touching.”

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