By Graham Sturgeon, co-editor
Pastor Russ Park of the First Baptist Church of Durand resigned Jan. 17 after 25 years. Reverend Glenn Dundore, a Durand-area resident, will succeed Park on an interim basis.
Park is still undecided on his future, but he stressed that he is not retiring. “It was time,” Park said as to why he decided to step down. “I am 60 years old, so if I was going to make a change, now was the time. Eventually you reach a point where either you can’t do the job anymore or you die in the saddle, and I don’t want to run into that. I am exploring several options, so I am still not sure what the future holds for me.”
Park strongly emphasized how much the church’s congregation meant to him. “I really love the people here and I will miss them,” Park said. “They’ve been extremely good to us; very kind, generous and supportive. This community has been a wonderful place to raise our four children, and I count it as the greatest privilege of my life to have been able to serve here”
In addition to continuing his work as a pastor, Park intends to make more time for his family. He is looking forward to celebrating his 40th wedding anniversary with his wife Sandy in December and the couple hopes to spend more time with their children, who are scattered across Michigan and in South Carolina.
Pastor Park served at the North Adams First Baptist Church for seven years before coming to Durand, and he received his Masters of Divinity degree from the Grace Theological Seminary in Winona Lake, Ind.