Tod Shook

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I was born and bred right here in Hastings. Now, after 45 years I’m back.

Ministry is my third career. After graduating U of M, I joined the Navy, went to Officer Candidate School and qualified as a Surface Warfare Officer. After leaving the navy, I moved on to the postal service as a Letter Carrier. I worked my way up the ladder and ended up at national headquarters in Washington DC crunching numbers in the marketing department.

Then I felt the call to ministry. I graduated Denver Seminary in 2003. I pastored a small church in Illinois and one in Colorado. Having burned out as a pastor, I left the ministry to care for my wife.

While working in DC, I gave my life to Jesus Christ. I also met my future wife, Ninaellen. She was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) shortly after I met her. We got married in 1996. Her MS slowly got worse as she went from cane to walker to wheelchair to nursing home. Then she was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer! She fought long and hard and passed away in 2017.

I moved back to Hastings to be with family (Nin and I never had kids). I was burned out as a pastor and pretty much broken as a person. My faith was shaky at best. I felt like God had abandoned me.

I tell you this not for your sympathy but to let you know that I understand; I get it. If you’re not sure what your purpose in life is, I didn’t know either. If are you are overwhelmed with grief and pain, I’m an expert. If life seems pointless and you don’t see any hope, I’ve been there too.

I thought my life was over because I was broken. But God wasn’t finished with me. In fact, He had big plans. He led me to a wonderful church full of caring people. With their help, God slowly began to put me back together again. When the pastor retired, they asked me to take his place.

I spent years wandering in the valley of pain, grief and loss. But I survived and came out the other side. My faith is restored, and I have a purpose again. Even better, I have a church full of people who love me.

Come visit us at Community Baptist. We are all sinners, it doesn’t matter who you are or what you have done, you will be welcomed. Join us as we walk together with Christ.