Joe Surin and his family left Arizona in the summer to serve in Roaring
Spring, where Surin is pastor of the First Church of the Brethren.
"I felt called to this specific church," Surin said. "And it's been reaffirmed over and over again."
(Mirror photo by J.D. Cavrich) Joe Surin is pastor of First Church of the Brethren, 901 Bloomfield St., Roaring Spring. Worship is at 9:25 a.m. Sunday and Sunday school is at 10:45 a.m. For more information, call 224-4113 or visit www.rsfirstchurch.org.
He said the church is a good fit.
"My leadership abilities and talents seem to flow together with the congregation's needs," he said.
Before moving to Pennsylvania, Surin, his wife, Debbie, and sons, Peter and Matthew. lived in Phoenix. He moved to Arizona in 1991 and said that one of his most interesting jobs was serving as resident minister of Grand Canyon National Park in northern Arizona.
The Surin file
Name: Joe Surin
Hometown: Cicero, Ill., a
suburb of Chicago.
Family: My wife, Debbie, and I have been married for 12 years. We have two boys; Peter, 10, is in fourth grade; Matthew, 7, is in first grade.
Education: Secondary: Wheaton Academy, West Chicago; B.A. in business, from Taylor University, Upland, Ind.; Master of Divinity from Bethany Seminary, Richmond, Ind.; Doctor of Ministry from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, South Hamilton, Mass.
Previous pulpits served: Churches in Illinois, Ohio and Arizona.
Years in ministry: 16
"While I was there, I supervised 20 to 25 college and graduate school students who led as many as 22 weekly worship services for the residents of Grand Canyon, North Rim, Bryce Canyon and Zion national parks," he said.
During Christian holidays, the services were meaningful.
"The annual Easter service attracted over 3,000 people each year from all over the world," he said.
On Christmas Eve, the secluded location made it seem like the worshippers were having their own special service.
Surin said the move to Roaring Spring has been good.
"It's neat," he said of central Pennsylvania. "It's a wonderful place to raise kids."
The Mirror asked him the following questions about his work:
Who was the greatest influence on your life and why?
I would have to say Jesus Christ.
He is the perfect example of love and justice. Jesus changed the world forever with his advent, his life, his death and his resurrection. He changes people all the time in my life.
What is the most interesting aspect of your work?
Watching a person who feels worthless or messed up in life, come to an understanding he or she has a real purpose for living, made in the image of God.
What is your favorite Scripture verse and why?
There are so many, but the two I will share are John 3:16 where Jesus reveals that his purpose in life is to die for the sins of all human beings and to give us eternal life through our belief in his grace.
Another favorite Scripture is Psalm 121.
It helps us understand that God is in control of the good and the bad that we experience in life, God truly cares for us and that all people matter to God.
What are your
talents or spiritual gifts?
Teaching, leadership and equipping others to serve God. I like to provide counseling for those in need.
Where do you see the church in five years?
Continuing the work that God has called the people of the church to do and being the hands and feet of Christ.
What are your
interests or hobbies?
I enjoy hiking, fishing and hunting. I like to spend time with my wife and family.
I enjoy traveling and learning about history.