Archived Story

New Woodland Baptist pastor says he feels at home

Published 10:56am Thursday, March 7, 2013

Over the first month of his time in Fergus Falls, the Rev. William Lobb, the new pastor at Woodland Baptist Church, has noticed one thing in particular about the community:

“Friendly people,” Lobb said. “Fergus Falls is a very friendly town. Walking down the street people say hello and with things like hooking up telephone and power, everyone is welcoming to the community.”

Lobb, who took over as the full-time pastor for Woodland Baptist at the end of January, is used to the rural settings of his new church, having grown up on a farm in the north east region of the state.

But even with his life now dedicated to preaching, Lobb agrees that farming and faith are closely connected.

“I think it’s because farmers deal with life, put a seed in a ground and it comes up,” Lobb said. “And they ask ‘Wow, how did that happen? Who put that life within a dead corn seed?’ They deal so much with life and death issues that they’re are used to seeing the miraculous in everyday life.”

His calling to ministry brought him to Northland Baptist Bible College in Dunbar, Wisconsin, where Lobb left school for a brief detour before finishing and returned to the farming lifestyle he once knew. But the calling was not something he could be away from so easily.

“I went [to Northland Baptist Bible College] for a year but I wanted to farm more than I wanted to be a preacher, so I went back to farming for a few years,” said Lobb. “But I learned if you’re going to fight a battle with God, you’re going to lose. So I went back to college in 2002 and graduated in 2005.”

After a few part-time positions at different churches around Minnesota and Wisconsin, often working second jobs while he preached to make ends meet, Lobb applied for the position at Woodland Baptist after a brother-in-law from Sauk Centre helped him connect with church leadership.

Now, having served as a candidate in November and in the middle of the move into his new office, Lobb said the first objective is to get to know the people of his congregation.

“I want to get to know my people,” he said. “I like to know my people and meet their needs the best I can … It just takes time.”

As for his plans with the new position? Lobb will dedicate his time providing scripture based teaching, tending to his peoples’ needs and preaching the truth of his faith. With plans to continue Vacation Bible School for the congregation’s children, form a new nursing home ministry across the street at Park Gardens Senior Living and a possible prison ministry in the future, that truth will always be the guiding light of his work as a minister.

“Truth is not based on human opinion, but on the word of God. That’s what I emphasize,” said Lobb.

Woodland Baptist Church holds worship service Sundays at 10:30 a.m., followed by a fellowship gathering. Rev. Lobb welcomes those members of the community in search of a church home to visit Woodland Baptist and join them in faith.

“A church is not a trophy case for special people, but is a hospital for hurting people,” said Lobb. “And I want people to know that they can come to Woodland Baptist Church and, even though they might see a bunch of nicely dressed people, that we all have backgrounds and that everyone is welcome here.”

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