Since it’s been four years this week, I thought I’d post this article from the York Daily Record.
Church’s new pastor teaches Scripture, kickboxing
By AMY MARCHIANO
For the Daily Record/Sunday News
Updated: 08/03/2010 09:57:59 AM EDT# Comments
The Rev. James Driskell is kissed by his wife, Marge, after she placed his vestments on his during his ordination and installation Sunday at First Saint
The Rev. James Driskell is kissed by his wife, Marge, after she placed his vestments on his during his ordination and installation Sunday at First Saint John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in York. Driskell served an internship at the church, and the congregation chose him to be its next pastor. Driskell also teaches kickboxing lessons at the church. (Daily Record/Sunday News – Paul Kuehnel)
In his new role as pastor of First Saint John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in York, James Andrew Driskell’s mission is to save.
And maybe to teach some butt-kicking from time to time.
Driskell, 51, spent more than 20 years in the U.S. Coast Guard and the Coast Guard Reserves, retiring in 2005. He also has 20 years of experience in the financial industry.
Driskell, of Brockton, Mass., was ordained and installed Sunday as pastor of St. John’s in front of about 75 friends, family, congregation members and area clergy members. He replaced the Rev. Gene Reichel, interim pastor since the retirement of the previous pastor two years ago.
Driskell recently graduated from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Mo. As part of his requirements, he did an 11-month internship at St. John’s.
In March, the congregation chose Driskell to be pastor, Reichel said.
Along with his prior role as vicar, Driskell started kickboxing lessons at the church. “It’s really a community outreach thing,” he said.
Lessons are held 3 p.m. Thursdays at the church. Youths and adults participate, with attendance varying, he said.
The last session was held in February before he went back to seminary. The next session might be held next week, he said.
Taking care of your body is a way to honor God, he said.
“Everything we have is God’s. God gave it (your body) to you for a reason: to keep it healthy,” Driskell said.
Driskell, who was baptized in a United Methodist church in 1986, said he “really didn’t become a Christian” until he was 25.
The Rev. Dr. Jon Diefenthaler, president of Southeastern District of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, said after ordaining Driskell that the disciple Andrew led other people to Jesus.
“That’s what you have been doing here in this place. Lead others here to be Andrews. Lead them to Jesus,” he said.
During the laying-on of hands by clergy members, the Rev. Rob Barclay said Driskell should adapt the Coast Guard motto to fit his new role: “that of saving souls, not just lives.”
After the service, church member Tammy Cahoon said she was glad that Driskell is the new pastor. “I like him a lot. I think he’s going to be a good asset to this church.”