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The St. Paul United Church of Christ has selected a new youth pastor to serve the youth in the community. Youth Pastor Cristian Reyes, 27, started serving the church on August 15, 2022.
Cristian grew up in Carthage, Missouri with his mother Ana Reyes. After graduating high school, Cristian attended MidAmerica Nazarene University in Olathe, Kansas. He graduated in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in Ministry. He currently lives outside of Wyaconda with his wife, Emily and their son.
When Cristian was attending high school, he felt called to ministry.
“I wasn’t sure what it would look like. I originally thought I would be helping in the church somehow and just have another job,” Cristian said.
Throughout college he was an intern at a few different churches and later became a youth pastor at a Nazarene church in Shawnee, Kansas.
When Cristian and Emily moved to Clark County in December of 2021, they started looking at different churches in the area to see where they wanted to attend services.
“We knew some people at St. Paul, so we decided to check it out,” Cristian said.
“We really loved the people there and the service structure. And the liturgy of the service is really beautiful, and we wanted to be a part of that.”
Cristian and Emily started attending St. Paul UCC around January or February in 2022.
“Whenever this opportunity arose, I just got excited about being able to continue the work that St. Paul has been doing for many years. They have really invested a lot in their kids and teens,” Cristian said.
“They are really good people, and they care about the community. I’m really excited to bring my gifts and graces into that and be able to help organize the youth ministry there.”
Cristian loves to connect with teens and their families, and he wants to help expand their spiritual growth.
“I want to keep connecting with our teens, not just in church, but their school activities or sporting games,” Cristian said.
“Basically, being an advocate for the youth in our church.”
As the youth pastor, he will be in charge of organizing weekly gatherings for the youth group. Cristian is hoping to start the weekly gatherings in September. The youth group will be meeting on Wednesday nights and it is open to all middle and high school kids.
According to Cristian, the youth group will be shaped around what the teens are passionate about.
“I want to try to find youth leaders and high schoolers that are wanting to own it and let them drive with that,” he said.
This will give the youth a chance to step into leadership roles.
Cristian is really excited to be the youth pastor at St. Paul UCC and to help out the teens in the community.
“I’m hoping to make this a place where everyone feels welcome. It will be a place where they can come and be safe, play some silly games, sing some songs, and grow together in our relationship with God,” he said.
If you have any questions about the youth group program you can email email@example.com or call (660) 727-3611. You can also email Cristian Reyes at firstname.lastname@example.org. St. Paul is located next to the Sever Library in Kahoka. The church’s address is 323 N Washington St, Kahoka, MO.