By Rebecca Gourley

Nazarene Church welcomes new pastor


Rebecca Gourley

NEW FACES: Patti and Phil Baldwin make music at the Nazarene Church. Phil Baldwin is the new pastor there. The Baldwins were previously in Republic, Wash., a town similar to Goldendale.

The Church of the Nazarene here in Goldendale is seeing two fresh faces on Sundays. Pastor Phil Baldwin gave his first sermon two Sundays ago, with his wife Patti by his side. “I didn’t scare them too bad,” joked the pastor. “Nobody threw anything.”

The lively and informal practices of Pastor Phil are his strengths, he says. The pair came from Republic, Wash., a town similar to Goldendale in its culture and that few have heard of.

“But hey, for several ways it’s an upgrade for us because we didn’t have a McDonald’s or a Dairy Queen or Chinese food,” said Phil.

They have an indisputable passion for music and plan to incorporate it into every Sunday service.

“I play several instruments,” Phil said. “Music is very important to us.”

Phil graduated in 1977 from Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, Idaho where he received his Bachelors degree in Ministry. He then worked as a youth pastor, which was his plan all along, to work with kids. Then he was called upon for his services in Royal City and was a pastor there for 10 years. When Phil and his wife moved to Republic, he became the jail chaplain and served in that capacity for 15 years.

His original interest in ministry was not based on his knowledge of the subject. “I thought I’d do what God wanted me to do whatever that would be and I thought, ‘Full-time ministry,’” he recalled. “I had no clue what that meant.”

But for him, it has been more than just a job. “I feel I’m called as much to the community as I am to the church,” said Phil. Both Phil and Patti’s idea of community has motivated them to meet every person in Goldendale, and they are serious.

“If they see Phil and Patti Baldwin, we want them to come up and introduce themselves and say hi because we want to meet everybody,” exclaimed Patti.

They want to mingle not only with the people of the community but also with the other churches in Goldendale.

“My dream was for a community of Christians to actually get together as one,” stated Phil. “Have you ever seen that? I don’t expect it, but that would be the happiest day of my life.”


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