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03.11.2015 16:31    Comments: 0    Categories: Chamber News      Tags: pastor john states  cozad christian church  

A strong desire to return to ministry is what led Pastor John States to the Cozad Christian Church.

“I’m so glad to be back into ministry. Cozad has been a perfect fit for us.” shared Pastor John.

Celebrating 30+ years in ministry, including a 5 year commitment to recruit for his Alma Mater at Summit Christian College in Gering, Nebraska, where he attended seminary from 1974-78, Pastor John felt the call to return to ministry.

He was born in Central City, NE and graduated High School in 1974 from Atkinson West Holt and was in the same class as Lyle and Gina Davis.

At 16 years old, Pastor John felt the call from God leading him into ministry. He preached his first sermon at the age of 16 to his peers at a youth rally. “It was pretty scary and probably was a record for the shortest sermon ever… less than 5 minutes.”

He was ordained in his home church in Oneal and began his ministry in Burwell. He has also pastored at Julesberg, CO and for short time in  Sterling, CO in a brand new church. He spent 6 years in Baird, NE, 3 years in Alva, OK and Knoxville, IA and ministered at Concordia, KA for over 10 years.

During his visit and interview with the Cozad Christian Church, Pastor John assured them that if they chose to hire him, he would remain pastor of the church for 10-15 years with the goal of bringing another young person alongside of him to continue growing the church and ministry.

When asked what he liked best about pastoring a church, Pastor John said, “I love people. I like to be around people, I like to see people grow. Preaching is the most fun part of being a pastor for me. I enjoy sharing from God’s word and I try to find nice new and fresh ways to do that. I’m not afraid of change or to try something new and I look for new ways to change things up.”

John likes to use visuals and his wife, Penny, is terrific at putting together powerpoints for his sermons.

The church has moved to chairs which allows them to move the rows to fit more people in the worship area and it also gives them the flexibility to rearrange the worship area.

Cozad Christian Church has 5 different worship teams with guitars and musical instruments bringing variety to the worship experience. They also offer Children’s Church once a month and occasionally Pastor John will have a Children’s Moment during the worship service.

Sunday School has recently returned to Cozad Christian Church and Pastor John is pleased to have such a strong dedicated group of leaders serving their youth and children’s programs which are going strong. Sundays begin with Sunday School at 9AM for all ages with the Worship Service from 10-11AM. Following the Worship service, they get together for coffee and goodies and have a great time getting to know each other and the visitors.

Pastor John feels that growth and attendance in a church is indicative of what’s going on in the life of a church and he sees growth taking place in the Cozad Christian Church. He believes that in 3-5 years the congregation could grow from their current of 80 to average 150.

On Wednesday nights, an average of 25 kids in 1st-5th grade attend the Kid’s Club from 6:30-8:30PM, with the little ones meeting only for the first hour.  Kid’s Club is led by Irma and Junior Dishman along with many other helpers.

The middle schoolers, led by Pastor John, Bob Dunmire, and TJ Coffey, has recently changed their name to M2J (Mission to Jesus) and have designed their own logo which is in the process of being printed on t-shirts. The High School students, led by Linda and Rally Williams, kept their name, Crossroads, and they currently lead worship and music on every 5th Sunday which helps to encourage and grow the youth to serve in ministry.


On Wednesday nights, middle school and high school kids start out together for a 15 minute time of worship and then the two groups split up for the rest of the evening. They average around 25 teens between both groups and have designated youth rooms for the teen groups.

Pastor John also shared that missions is a big deal for ministry and expressed his admiration for former pastor, Jeremy Jech, who started Mission to Cozad (M2C). Pastor John is thrilled to be a part of such an impactful local mission and the Cozad Christian Church will continue to grow that vision in missions both locally and abroad.

Pastor John expressed, “It really doesn’t make any difference what your background is or what your past has been. We know what Jesus can do to change all of that and that’s what we’re all about here at Cozad Christian Church. When we have new people, I want them involved. I like to get people plugged in and help them find a place to serve here at the church.”

“I have a few things around here that I call “Not Of This World” (NOTW) material and that’s my attitude and who I am. I’m a person in the world but not of the world.

October was Pastor Appreciation Month and the church surprised Pastor John and Penny with gifts and they feel very blessed to be where God has placed them. Pastor John also celebrated his 60th birthday with the church family in attendance.
Pastor John and his wife, Penny, have a son in Columbus, NE, their oldest is in Knoxville, IA, youngest daughter is in Torrington, WY.

Penny was hired on by the school system to head up the cafeteria and is really enjoying the position.

John also loves to get involved in the community. He is a part of the Cozad Ministerial Association, TeamMates, and he is seeking to join a committee at the Cozad Chamber and was recently voted in as a Cozad Chamber Board Member for 2016-2018.

Pastor John is also currently the ‘voice’ for the Haymakers for girls volleyball and basketball and boys basketball games and is really enjoying serving the school system in that manner.

Years ago Pastor John was a trained fireman and EMT but is not physically capable of serving in that area but shared his admiration and appreciation for what the firemen and EMT’s do. The son of a police officer, he feels it is very important to support the men and women who serve in these areas. He very much appreciates the Cozad Police Department and has already gotten to know a few of them who attend the Cozad Christian Church and the opportunity he has had to get to know Chief Adams.

Pastor John and Penny enjoy bike riding, movies, walking, spending time with family, and taking drives in Zippy (Pastor John’s economical car) to  visit nearby communities to see what they are like,
They are planning a Christmas Open House in their home for the church and community.

We are pleased to welcome Pastor John and Penny to the community of Cozad, the Cozad Chamber Board and we would like to express our appreciation for the Cozad Christian Church who has greatly impacted so many through their ministry outreach in Cozad and surrounding communities. They recently participated in Spook Night with Junior Dishman giving train rides to the the children in attendance and they continue to be a big part of M2C.


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