Bledsoe new pastor at Calvary Baptist Church

Joshua “Josh” Bledsoe admits God started calling him to the ministry at the age of 16, but “growing up I wanted to be a band director. I wanted to do that my entire life.”

So after graduating with his music education degree from Eastern Illinois University in 2003 he became the Vandalia High School band director. And he loved it.

But four years later in Vandalia while working with church youth, he once again hear God’s call.

“God really revealed this is what I am supposed to do, so I rededicated my occupational/vocational part of my life to him,” said Bledsoe, who was installed as senior pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in Monticello on Sept. 24.

He already had ties to Monticello as his wife Holly (Munson) grew up in town and graduated from Monticello High School in 1999. They have three sons, ages 12, 9 and six years old and the family has sold their house in Effingham and will soon move to Monticello.

After a nine-year stint as student pastor of First Baptist Church in Effingham, Bledsoe is thrilled to call Monticello his home.

“As we were looking and God was kind of leading us through the process of finding a church, we picked about three or four places and Monticello was one of them,” he said. “We were overjoyed when God called us to serve in this church.”

He plans on taking time to get to know the community better as he embarks on his first journey as a senior pastor.

“I like to work with people as far as having relationships with people and not just doing things on your own, and trying to lead from a team perspective – trying to equip people to do the work of the church. It’s not just about the pastor doing it all, it’s about the pastor helping others be involved in ministry and growing in their faith,” said Bledsoe.

So his teaching degree will come in handy in ministry, as will his musical prowess, which has expanded from being a trumpet player to being able to help out with guitar and percussion skills.

Music will always be a part of him, both in his public and private life.

“I still use it in my quiet time,” said Bledsoe, who has a guitar in his office to use for just that purpose.

Bledsoe began his career in ministry at First Baptist Church in Ramsey for a year before heading back to his childhood home church in Effingham. He earned his Master of Theological Studies degree from Midwest Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City in 2016. He is a 1998 graduate of Effingham High School.

Categories (2):News, Religion

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