John Wm Grisham will retire after 25 years from a Great Rivers Region ministry of mission partnership, stewardship resources, and congregational resources on June 30, 2013.
Grisham has served as ABCUSA Minister of World Mission Support for 5½ years, as ABCGRR Minister of Mission and Stewardship for 14½ years, as Area Resource Minister for Area II since July 1, 2008 and as Area IV since October 1, 2009. He was the GRR Minister of Institutional Support for 17 years.
John summarizes his ministry mentioning at least 600,000 miles driven, 65 Consecration Sunday programs, 17 GRR Mission Conferences, 10 Miracle Sunday Celebrations, 5 Mission Discovery trips to Oklahoma/Chicago/Green Lake. He coordinated, and sometimes provided leadership for mission partnership projects in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Costa Rica and Cuba. John has visited 85% of the 240 Great Rivers Region congregations at some time during his time on Region Staff. During his 25 years in his "Ministry of Encouragement,” Great Rivers Region Churches have contributed more than 65 million dollars through the Region for Mission and Ministry in Illinois and Missouri, in the United States and Puerto Rico, and in the whole world.
Future plans include annual excursions on the Niangua River in Missouri with friends, supporting University of Illinois Springfield Women’s Soccer, and hanging out in a favorite cabin at Jim Edgar State Park. He wants to continue in the role of apprentice to the bacon cook for the men’s breakfasts at Central Baptist Church, Springfield, IL where he is a member. He plans to continue to run and edit stories from his journals. John especially looks forward to time with his three exceptional grandchildren.
Just before midnight on May 31, Ridgeview Baptist Church of Danville, IL was struck by lightening. The power of the bolt broke loose a section of the lightening rod cable and sent it hot through the roof into the sanctuary. The smoldering continued unnoticed for a few hours, until passers-by saw smoke and flame and called 911.
By the time the fire fighters arrived, the fire had burned a hole in the roof (middle top bright spot in photo above) and fire had consumed or melted furnishings, musical instruments, and electronics. Damage estimates total more than $1 million.
Bill Stuckemeyer, a member of the church, was thankful that the firedoors were closed. These slowed the progress of the fire - and prevented the fire from spreading out into the rest of the building - until fire fighters were on the scene. Rev. Dr. Mark Keyser, Sr. Pastor, mentioned that no one was injured by the fire. The church is temporarily worshipping at the Executive Plaza Banquet Center.
Keep the congregation and its leadership in prayer that their response to this catastrophe will be a testimony of our Lord to Danville.