Faith in Focus

Faith in Focus: Man leaves press box for pulpit

CorrespondentAugust 26, 2013 

In 2003, Nate Wilks left baseball broadcasting and spent several years working in the ministry in different roles.

COURTESY OF NATE WILKS

Nate Wilks was living what he had always thought was his lifelong dream. He spent his days as a minor league baseball announcer for the Augusta Green Jackets and was hopeful he would move up to the majors in the near future. But in 2001, he began to feel like God was calling him to another purpose.

He was attending Lakemont Presbyterian Church in Augusta, Ga., when he met his future wife, Bethany; she was the pastor’s daughter.

“After traveling for six months a year and working 16 hours a day, I realized that my goal to be a major league baseball broadcaster was not a fit for having a family and being an involved father,” Wilks said. “I was at a crossroads and had to make a decision, and I kept feeling that the Lord was putting in my heart that I should go into the ministry.”

Two years later, Wilks left baseball and spent several years working in the ministry in different roles. In 2010, he attended Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis. He then served as the youth and children’s pastor at Manor Presbyterian Church in Cochranville, Pa. Last month he accepted the senior pastor position from Calvary Presbyterian Church in Raleigh. The church welcomed Wilks and his family to the job after not having a pastor for the past year. The installation service will be held at 6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 8, at the church, 6520 Ray Road in Raleigh.

“My favorite part of being a pastor is really just being able to ‘do life with people,’ so I can learn their stories and speak the story of Jesus into their lives,” Wilks said. “When I came to meet the congregation, I told them my goal for the first year is to get know the people and the rhythm of the congregation so I can provide leadership to make disciples using the gifts that God has given our church.”

He describes his preaching style as expository with a narrative method. His sermons will go through the books of the Bible to see how the Scripture informs day-to-day life.

“We will use the Bible to first focus on our relationship with God and then our relationships with one another,” Wilks said.

One of Wilks’ goals for Calgary Presbyterian is to be a place where people are comfortable struggling.

“God receives us where we are, but never leaves us where we are. A lot of people ... are afraid that it is not acceptable to struggle,” Wilks said. “I want people to be able to struggle and ask the tough questions so we can discover the answers to the questions through Scripture – as we do life together.”

Special needs adult coffeehouse

Good Shepherd Lutheran Church will have its monthly coffeehouse for special needs adults from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 30, at the church, 7000 Creedmoor Road, Raleigh. Entertainment will be provided by David Bryan, an international inspirational recording artist who will perform a variety of music, including Christian, rock ‘n’ roll, rhythm and blues, country and jazz. Transportation is available to this free event. The church is also looking for additional volunteers to help with tasks such as preparing food, serving refreshments, welcoming guests, providing extra assistance to guests, transportation and cleanup. For more information, call 919-848-1573 or cindybdavis@gmail.com.

Blues in the Park

Kim Klaudt, a gospel blues guitarist and singer from Cleveland, Tenn., will be performing as part of The Stone Church’s 2013 Concert Series at 6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 31, at Pullen Park in Raleigh. The family-friendly concert is free, but and donations will be accepted for the Missions/Outreach Ministries of The Stone Church. For more information, visit www.stoneconcertseries.com or call 919-871-3105.

Westminster Presbyterian book club

The community is invited to the new Westminster Presbyterian ladies book club from 2 to 3 p.m. on the second Wednesday of each month in the church parlor, 301 E. Whitaker Mill Road, Raleigh. The first meeting will be on Sept. 11. Non-church members are also welcome to attend the book club. Participants will read books of their own choosing and report on their favorite books each month. For more information, visit www.westminster-raleigh.org or call 919-828-0507.

Richland Creek divorce recovery

Richland Creek Community Church will be offering a divorce recovery workshop from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. each Thursday from Sept. 12 to Oct. 17 at the church, 3229 Burlington Mills Road, Wake Forest. The workshops are geared for people who are either separated or divorced to help attendees accept their new life circumstances, let go of past injustices, forgive and make new friendships. For more information, contact Perry Safron at perry@richlandcreek.com or 919-556-9292.

Do you have some faith news to share? Send it to correspondent Jennifer Gregory at jennifergregory@nc.rr.com. For events, please give two to three weeks of notice.

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