OWOSSO — After three weeks as the new lead pastor at Grace Bible Church, the Rev. Tim Balogh is already bringing in new members.
Not only is his mastery of social media helping get the word out about the non-denominational church, his high energy and enthusiasm are winning people over.
“He’s very creative, energetic and fun to work with. He brings a youthful spirit to our church,” said church secretary Janet Hildebrant, a member for 71 years who served on the committee that selected Balogh.
“He’s a good fit for us. We are already beginning to grow.”
Balogh, a minister for more than 20 years, served most recently as the family life pastor at Northpointe Community Church in DeWitt. Hearing there was an opening for a lead pastor at Grace Bible Church, he met with Hildebrant and other committee members.
He wanted to find out if they would consider new ideas. He was pleased by their response.
“I love the Owosso community,” he said. “There’s a lot of opportunity here, and a lot of need as well. I believe we need new and creative ways to meet the needs of the Owosso community, and the committee was open. That struck a chord with me, because I’m a creative individual.”
Balogh said he believes that the key to the church’s success is investing in the next generation.
“We have to invest in kids and students — not just the spiritual side, but on the practical side, so they can know how to do life better. It’s not just about what happens when you die, it’s about living life to the fullest,” Balogh said, adding that the Bible offers many principles relevant to finances and other practical matters.
The modern tendency of families to spread out more geographically makes the place of the church more important than ever, he said.
“You need the support system,” he said. “That’s where the church can come in.”
Balogh lives with his wife, Marci and their three children in St. Johns.
There’s no plan to move closer to Owosso, the pastor said, especially since part of Grace Bible Church’s vision is to become a regional church, reaching beyond Owosso to Saginaw County and beyond.
Another goal is to hire youth and children’s pastors to form a team with Balogh.
“We have great volunteers on the church board who are doing their best, but as we grow we will need to divide up the workload,” Balogh said.
Originally from the Chicago area, Balogh discovered Michigan when he attended Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, where he earned a bachelor of arts degree in Bible youth ministry. He served as a youth and children’s pastor at several churches over the years.
At Northpointe, where he worked for about 10 years, Balogh was promoted from children’s ministry pastor to family life pastor. After he left, he did some substitute teaching and ran the family business, an outdoor laser company, which he has since sold. He came back to the ministry after his wife challenged him to apply for a senior leadership position, he said.
His hope at Grace Bible Church is to create Sunday morning experiences that are “true to God’s heart and to His Word.”
He said he feels it is a pastor’s job to “equip, encourage and challenge those in the church to actively engage in serving one another and the community around them.
“I look forward to being an integral part of the Owosso community as Grace Bible Church helps people take their next steps toward Jesus Christ….together,” Balogh continued in a press release.
“We have great plans to meet local needs as well as provide creative spaces on our campus for families to encounter God.
“We are committed to helping people of all ages connect with each other, connect with God and connect the Bible to real life,” he said.
“I am particularly excited about our developing ministry areas for kids and students. I truly believe Grace Bible Church is a great place to be.”
Those interested in more details about the church can visit graceowosso.org or find “GraceOwosso” on Facebook.