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Trinity Calls Pastor Jon Lobos
During the weekend of June 26th & 27th, the Search Committee hosted a Candidate Weekend for Pastor Jon Lobos, the recommended candidate for the position of Senior Pastor, and his wife Merrilee. Both met many of you at the events during the weekend that included a breakfast, a congregational dinner and a combined worship service. Jon and Merrilee commented on how welcomed they felt, and how the members of Trinity made them feel comfortable and engaged them in conversation during every event.
Following the worship service, a Business Meeting was conducted to vote on calling Jon to be our Pastor. The vote was UNANIMOUS to call Pastor Jon Lobos as the next Senior Pastor of Trinity Baptist Church. Pastor Jon graciously accepted the offer, and his first Sunday with us will be August 22nd.
Biography of Jon and Merrilee Lobos
Jon attended Trinity College in Deerfield, IL from 1972-1975. He also attended Hannibal LaGrange College in Hannibal, MO from 1981-1982. He received his BA in theology from New World Bible Institute in Hayti, MO in 1984. Jon has also completed on-line Bible courses at John A. Logan College in Carterville, IL.
Merrilee received her BA from Maryville University in St. Louis in 1986.
They met at Emmanuel Methodist Church in St. Louis in 1989 and got married there on March 24, 1990.
Jon and Merrilee have a “yours - mine & ours” family. She has one child from her first marriage and Jon has four. God blessed them with another in 1991. Jon and Merrilee have placed a high value on their children and family.
Geoff - 35, lives in Gulf Shores, AL, and runs his own pizza/bakery restaurant
Mark - 33, lives in Aurora, IL, with wife Michelle and children Chase, Corbin, and Connor (identical twins
Paul - 31, lives in Wood River, IL, with wife Ashley and children Madison and Logan
Jared - 29, lives in DeKalb, IL, with wife Cybil
Jennifer - 27, lives in Maplewood, MO, with husband Matt
Rachel - 19, is a sophomore at University of Illinois in downtown Chicago
Jon enjoys photography, gardening, and old war movies. Merrilee loves to cook and is currently putting hundreds of names and dates of her family’s genealogy on her computer. Both Jon and Merrilee are former food service directors who love to help in the kitchen. They also love trains - Jon grew up with American Flyer trains and Merrilee’s father and grandfather were engineers with the Union Pacific.
Jon’s Work History
02/2005 to present Pastor First Baptist Church - Paris, Il. (ABC Church)
05/1992 to 01/2005 Pastor Eldred Baptist Church - Eldred, Il. (ABC Church)
06/1989 to 01/1995 Secular Marriott Food Service- St. Louis, MO.
01/1984 to 05/1988 Pastor 1st Baptist Church of Rosewood Hgts – East Alton, IL (ABC Church)
06/1980 to 01/1984 Pastor Eldred Baptist Church – Eldred, Il. (ABC Church)
A note from Pastor Jon:
Being the son and grandson of Baptist ministers, one might conclude that my calling is hereditary. It is not. I was called by God to the ministry at the age of 14. My mother recognized it, even though I did not.
My leadership skills are quite laid back for an extrovert. I do not make demands or implement changes overnight. As your pastor, I will walk your road, listen to your ideas, and see how things have worked (or failed) in your church’s history. Good leadership is through example. A good pastor leads his congregation. He does not herd them like cattle. I am just as normal as you. I like to laugh, joke around and eat. I am often told that I do not act like a minister. I always respond with a “Thank you.”
The demand on churches today is great. The demand for a strong faith is greater. I would consider it an honor to come and help you grow in your faith while I grow in mine.
The Last Five Years - In Jon’s words
The following is a brief summary of my life and ministry over the last five years. I have been in the ministry since 1978 but I’m guessing you would like know what I have been involved in recently. In 2006 I made a decision to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle. I exercise daily and my weight loss motivated others in the church to get healthy with the result being that thirteen people lost a total of 400 pounds!
One of my goals as pastor is to make the church visible in the community. One of the ways this is accomplished is by participating in the local minister’s fellowship / alliance and by serving on various committees. I have served as president and currently I am the treasurer of the Paris Ministerial Fellowship. We help the community by giving aid to area residents in the form of food, gas cards, utility help, rent help, and with the purchase of medicine. We give away between $500 and $1000 each month in assistance. This pastor’s group also hosts special services at Easter, Thanksgiving and a community–wide worship service in September held at the local fairgrounds. I serve on the board of the local food pantry and volunteer when they are open to the public on Wednesdays. The local clothing mission is located in our church basement. On Tuesdays, local residents can come and receive several outfits of clothes for their family. As pastor, I serve on the board of the mission. My favorite local outreach is the monthly blood drive. I took over as coordinator of the blood drive and moved it to our church fellowship hall in August of 2009. We currently have 20 donors just from our congregation. In addition, one of my other favorite ministries is leading the worship service on Thursdays at one of the local nursing homes.
I have enjoyed my relationship with our regional leaders in Springfield at the Great Rivers Region office. I serve on the Program Board for Area 4 which includes planning church leadership conferences and mission conferences. My involvement with regional youth ministries spans 30 years. I am currently one of the adult supervisors on the American Baptist Youth Board. This group of high school youth plans the regional Sr. High Gathering each November. My love for camping has never been a secret. I have directed camps for 25 years and I also serve on the regional camp advisory board. For the last ten years I have directed camps for grades 2nd through 6th.
Several ABC pastors meet each month in a cluster group. We do a book study and have a time of sharing and prayer – along with lunch. I have participated in the group for 4 years.
My teaching skills have been refined as God sent 15 Jr. High youth to us each Wednesday night for our church meal. I was leading the adult Bible study but gave that up to lead the Jr. High youth each Wednesday night. It is a challenge but it has been great. I also teach the adult Sunday school class each week. In the past five years at Paris it has been my privilege to baptize 25 souls into the Kingdom of God. Out of those, 17 have been children or youth.
God has used me to help people with my counseling skills. I have helped people in the following areas: parent/children issues, marriage counseling, alcoholism, and faith issues. I also served as guardian for a lady in my church who was going through a divorce. She was having difficulty making positive decisions and I was appointed to help her.
One of the highlights of the past five years was my trip to Uganda, Africa, in 2008 where I helped lead a pastors' training for 160 Ugandan pastors. I also have been to Baton Rouge twice and last spring traveled to New Orleans to help with the Baptist Blitz Build. Earlier this year, I returned from Costa Rica where I spent ten days working at our ABC church in Alajuelita. Just last month I spent a week in Cedar Rapids volunteering to repair damage from floods.
On a personal note, my wife is Merrilee (like in row row your boat). She stays at home and keeps things organized. She has led Bible Study and filled the pulpit one of the Sundays when I was in Africa. She suffers from fibromyalgia and therefore is not always able to participate like she wishes she could.
Between us we have six children - four of which are married and one is thinking about it. Our youngest is a sophomore at the University of Illinois in downtown Chicago. We have one beautiful granddaughter and four rowdy grandsons.
In my spare time, I enjoy photography, reading war novels, gardening, listening to 70’s music, watching Law and Order (the original series), walking the dogs, and riding my bike.