Monday, Feb. 23, 2009 | 1:02 p.m.
Boulder City's oldest church has a new pastor.
Grace Community Church members said Pastor David Graham is a breath of fresh air for the congregation— free spirited yet grounded. They hope he'll draw younger families to the nondenominational place of worship.
Graham and Linda, his wife, came to the church in November from Iowa, where he ministered at an Evangelical Church and had been near his grandchildren.
A California native, he said he's happy to be back in the West in a welcoming and accepting community.
Graham takes over as senior pastor for Pastor Kevin Roach, who retired a year ago. Associate Pastor Gard Jameson, who filled in during the interim, said he was glad to have Graham and excited about the future.
Grace Community Church was built in 1932, and Rev. Thomas Stevenson preached the first service in 1933 in an unfinished basement. The church population has ebbed and flowed since then, longtime member Bill Cotrell said, at one point hosting nearly 400 Sunday School students every week.
Cotrell said the new pastor is a good fit for helping attract younger families with children.
"We've gotten to be an old, old congregation," he said. "(Graham's) attributes will be a definite asset in that area. ... He's open minded and yet has basic serious religious credentials."
Early on a Friday morning, Graham, in a plaid tie, gave his talk to the children of Grace Christian Academy, the church's elementary school.
He said he imagined Boulder City would be an austere, hot place like Battle Mountain, but instead found the most loving community he's seen.
Holding a taped-up Bible, the one presented to him by his young family as he entered seminary in 1984, he said looks forwarding to building youth ministry.
In the school chapel, the first row's pews are small enough for children, he said.
"It's my dream to find unchurched kids," he said, to help promote moral training and culture in the community.
Graham was the creator of a nationally syndicated radio spot series, "Dad to Dad," and is the author of a theological book, "His Ultimate Intention." He's been an actor, a salesman, an executive, and brings life experience to his chief goal, making the Bible clear.
"I like the idea of no Christian dogma we have to follow, just the word of God," he said.
Cassie Tomlin can be reached at 948-2073 or [email protected]
Cassie Tomlin can be reached at 948-2073 or [email protected].