From Teacher to Pastor
Jack and Karen Baumgardner moved to Clarinda, Iowa in December of 2007 to begin the pastorate here, having previously taught in the public school in Indianapolis, Indiana for 39 years!
It was during his career as a teacher that Jack felt the call of God to become a pastor and so had taken coursework through the Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary, both from a distance and in person during a year-long sabbatical from teaching.
A Season of Ministry in Clarinda
During Jack and Karen’s time in Clarinda there have been many changes in the congregation, most notably the move from the church building in the country to their current ministry center close to the downtown square.
While living in Clarinda, The Baumgardners have had the opportunity to travel extensively. Their journeys have taken them to South Sudan and Uganda in Africa (where they have had daughters on the mission field), Guyana, South America, (to a Navigator work bringing Scripture to the Wapishana Indians in their own language), Japan, Germany and even Poland.
The Baumgardners have been involved in many community organizations besides their involvement with the congregation. Karen has had an active English Bible Study group with Japanese ladies in the community, as well as being involved with the International Club and Christian Women’s Club.
They are members of the Circle 8 Square dance club and have supported the Lied Center and Public Library. Jack is an avid hunter and fisherman and has made many connections through those interactions as well.
The congregation hosted a farewell reception on Saturday, February 27 for the Baumgardners. It was well attended, by both members of the congregation and the community, even despite the restrictions related to the ongoing pandemic.
Jack and Karen plan to move back to Indiana this week, following his final day of preaching yesterday, March 7.
Please pray for the congregation as they seek the Lord’s will for the future, as well as for the Baumgardners as they adjust to this newest phase of their life.
Ruth Falk is a member of Clarinda RPC. She and her husband, Steve, operate the family farm. They have four grown children and seven grandchildren.