Joel Crippen, 61, began serving the congregation at First Southern Baptist Church in Fort Scott in July as a pastor.
Crippen received a diploma from Southern Indiana Baptist College and a General Bible Diploma from Bethany Bible College, Dothan, Alabama. “I also attended many conferences and seminars,” he says.
He began preaching with six years of youth ministry at Osage City Baptist Church, Kansas, and later served as pastor of the same church for 15 years. He also helped plant a church in Linden, KS called Mercy Baptist Church.
He and his wife, Donna, have four daughters and 17 grandchildren. They have a daughter at home who is a freshman at Fort Scott High School.
The Crippens have taken in 100 children in 10 years, he said.
“It was a big part of our ministry,” he said.
Donna has been a postal worker for 27 years and is stationed in Waverly, KS. “She asked for a transfer to a local post office and drove back and forth over the weekend,” Crippen said.
For Crippen, he most enjoys helping people spiritually.
“Jesus reached out his hand,” he said. “I like getting to know people and talking about Jesus. I’m a sociable person.
A challenge for him is getting into a new community and getting to know people, he said. “It’s a huge undertaking.”
His personal vision is to “reach the next generation for Christ,” he said.
The church is located at 1818 Main Street and can be reached at 620.223.2986.
Sunday school is at 9:30 a.m. followed by worship at 10:50 a.m.
There are about 60 people in Sunday morning services, he said.
There is also an evening Bible study at 6 p.m. on Sundays.
Additionally, there is a Women’s Bible Study at 10 a.m. on Wednesdays and a Trail Blazers Youth program at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesdays for children ages 3 through 12.