NEW Life Baptist Church entered a new era this week, with the arrival of its second fulltime minister.
After spending the past 12 years in Melbourne, Donovan Jasper is happy to be back in the familiar territory of Echuca-Moama, his hometown.
Donovan first moved to the big smoke to study commerce at Melbourne University and began pursuing a career in business.
But he said it did not take long for him to realise this career path wasn’t going to be fulfilling while at the same time becoming increasingly aware there was another direction – and calling.
It was, he said, a calling from God.
As his feeling of certainty grew around this idea, Donovan progressively moved away from accounting and instead began studying for Christian ministry.
At the end of 2018, Donovan completed a master’s degree in theological studies and is delighted to have secured this new position.
“It’s been great to come back to Echuca-Moama and I look forward to serving the people here,” Donovan said.
“There’s been a lot of development in the 12 years I’ve been away but the community is as strong as ever, and I’m loving the lack of traffic – except for this weekend,” he laughed.
Donovan has joined New Life to work alongside its senior minister Jono Schroder, who has been in that role for seven years.
Jono said he was excited by the idea of sharing the growing ministry with another person and that “the appointment couldn’t have come at a better time!” Jono said. “Reflecting on the expanding vision of the church in recent years we have big dreams of how we can better serve the community and provide practical care for people in need,” he said.
“But it’s one thing to have the heart to do good; you also need a sustainable plan.
“Donovan’s experience will enable us to come up with a model that will serve this community well for the long haul.”
Donovan said he was also “excited by the opportunities the new role will provide”.
“I love the passion Jono and the church have for serving the community and I’m keen to learn how we can start helping people and building relationships with the wider community,” he added.
Donovan settled into Echuca-Moama this week with his wife Rebekah and their son Josiah.
He said they were looking forward to getting accustomed to the local area and breathing in some fresh country air, despite the initial heatwave that met them upon arrival.
Donovan will be inducted into ministry by the Baptist State Minister, Reverend Graeme Semple, on Sunday at the morning church service.
Jono said all members of the community were invited to share in the 10.30am celebration and the luncheon that will follow.