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New pastor, family to serve at local church


From left, Susanna, Pastor James, Becky, and Samuel McCurdy. - submitted photo

A new pastoral family has come to serve the Grand Coulee Seventh-day Adventist Church. James McCurdy served three small churches in Northwest Kansas before accepting a call by the Upper Columbia Conference to pastor three churches in Washington state in Grand Coulee, Republic, and Orient.

For McCurdy, the move to Washington is getting back to his roots. He was born in Cusick, Washington, the third of five children. He grew up loving the outdoors, helping in the orchards and fields, and planting and thinning trees with his uncle and cousins.

When he was 18, a logging accident left him on crutches for six months and with time to reflect on how God had saved his life. He decided to take theology to prepare for ministry. While at Southern Adventist University in Tennessee, he met and married Becky Rempher and they began a life together, eventually having a family of four boys and four girls. During these years, James left school and worked at a variety of mechanical jobs to support his growing family.

In August 2000, after ignoring God's call to ministry for 13 years, James went back to school to work on his theology degree while continuing to work full time. In 2003, he accepted a bi-vocational position in Ohio, working full time as a mechanic while pastoring a church for two years. At the same time, he took online classes to finish his degree. Finally, in 2008, he graduated with his theology degree.

While they still lived in Ohio, they lost their 8-year-old daughter, Clarissa, in an auto accident. The grief-stricken family continued to live in Ohio for another three years, finding that there is a special understanding that comes with tragedy - the ability to empathize with others who are also grieving. Clarissa would have been 21 this year, had she lived.

The McCurdy's have five grown children and three grandchildren. They will be living with their two youngest children in Republic.

Pastor James and family will be in Grand Coulee every Thursday for 6 p.m. prayer meeting, and generally the second Saturday of each month at the Grand Coulee Seventh-day Adventist Church at 103 Continental Heights. They would like to get to know the people of this community and invite you to join them.

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