Wayne Schaffer has been serving as pastor of New Life Worship Center, 3 Ritz Road (Pinecroft Exit 99) for more than a year.
He started his ministry as a youth pastor at a State College church in the 1990s and said it is great to be back in the area.
"I love it. I always wanted to get back to Central Pennsylvania," he said. The move also affords him and his wife more opportunities to visit with extended family.
(Mirror photo by J.D. Cavrich) Wayne Schaffer is lead pastor at New Life Assembly of God on Ritz Road. He enjoys checking out restaurants with his wife and bowling with the church league.
Schaffer said he was called to the ministry in his teens when he was talking to a man about receiving the Lord at the Pearl Harbor Naval Base in Hawaii. At the time, Schaffer was singing with a Christian group called the Continential Singers.
He said God spoke to him about going into full-time ministry as he was sharing about Christ's love with the man. After much prayer, he prepared for the ministry.
Schaffer said he enjoys being with his congregation and tries to get to know them as much as possible. He bowls with them, and he and his wife hold a small group for married couples in their home.
Name: Wayne Schaffer
Family: Wife, Suzanne; son, Michael; and daughter, Carly
Education: Graduate of Cumberland Valley High School, attended Valley Forge Christian College, Phoenix Master's Commission and completed studies through Global University.
Previous pulpits served: Youth pastor at State College Assembly of God, 1992-96 and Waynesburg First Assembly of God, 1996-2000; lead pastor at Glassport Assembly of God 2000-04, and First Assembly of God, East Alton, Ill., 2004-08,
Number of years in ministry: 18
"I like to interact with them and build relationships with them," he said.
Schaffer also relates to the parishioners when services are scheduled.
The church holds a breakfast fellowship and Sunday school for adults and teens at 9 a.m. Sundays. Worship is at 10 a.m.
Youth ministry is held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays with Kidz Ministry at 6:30 p.m. and adult Bible study at 6:50 p.m. Wednesdays.
Information about the church also is available at www.NewLifeAltoona.org.
The Mirror asked him the following questions about his work:
What are some of the highlights of your faith journey?
My call to full-time ministry took place while singing with the Continental Singers at the Pearl Harbor Naval Ship Yard at the age of 16.
Meeting my wife at our District Church Kids Camp in 1987 and marrying in 1992.
I had the opportunity to form Sudden Impact Power Team and travel across Pennsylvania to do school assemblies and youth rallies (held in churches).
We challenged kids and teens to live their lives drug and alcohol free, and the easiest way to do that is by having a relationship with Jesus Christ.
I love the opportunity that ministry affords me to meet and become friends with so many people and to be able to share and impart spiritual aspects into their lives, to see them grow in the Lord and for them to be a blessing in my life.
What is the most interesting aspect of your work?
I love to be around people. To walk this journey of life together.
What is your favorite Scripture verse and why?
Psalm 1:1-6 - This was the first passage of Scripture that I learned growing up as a child.
Every aspect of it is so relevant and important for living out my life. It is challenging and encouraging.
It is a passage that when lived out on a daily basis offers great blessings and rewards from the Lord.
What is the best advice you ever received?
Don't let anyone other than the Lord dictate who you are and what you should do.
In what ways are you reaching out to the community?
We run three buses on Tuesday nights to pick up teens (seventh- to 12th-grade students) to come to our youth ministry. We run three buses on Wednesday nights to pick up children (ages 4 to sixth-grade students) to come to our Kidz ministry. Both nights we serve a meal.
We do a community Easter Egg hunt at the Bellwood-Antis Football Stadium each spring.
We offer the community to purchase meals through our Great Food For All Ministry (similar to Angel Food).
Along with many other ministries and outreaches, our goal is to touch the city and region with the love of Christ.
What are your interests?
Trying out a new restaurant (within 60 miles of Altoona) every Friday with my wife, and church bowling league on Monday nights.
I love to do or watch anything sports related and reading.