January has been an eventful month for Jon Gibson.
He turned 42 last Wednesday. Then on Sunday, he was installed as the new lead pastor of The Point church in Seymour.
Gibson was born in Wisconsin, and when he was 10, he moved with his family to Ohio, where he has lived up until three weeks ago when he moved to Seymour with his wife, Heather, and their kids.
He received a Bachelor of Arts in Christian education youth ministry and Bible from Cedarville University in 2002 and obtained a master in missional leadership from Northwest Nazarene University in 2017.
“When I started in college, the church I was at called West Carrollton Church of the Nazarene planted Living Hope Church,” he said. “I was going into ministry, and it was a brand-new church and there were 30 people from West Carrollton attending there.”
While he was in college, Gibson went with the church plant and was helped with its youth program. Then because of postsecondary classes in high school, he finished college in two years and was brought on full time at Living Hope located in Centerville, Ohio, and he lived in West Carrollton, a suburb of Dayton.
“I was serving as youth pastor for six or seven years and then as the worship associate creative arts guy for the next seven or so years,” he said. “Then from 2013 on, I was lead pastor at Living Hope Church until we came here, so I have served a total of 23 years in pastoral work, all at Living Hope.”
Gibson grew up in a Christ-centered home, and there were pastors on both sides of his family.
“It was kind of a natural thing to grow up in the church, and early on, my parents said I’d talked about wanting to be a pastor,” he said. “There are different ebbs and flows in your life as a teenager, and I’ve always wanted to help people and serve people, and there’s opportunity to love and care for others as a pastor.”
Gibson said what he loves about pastoring is just doing life with people and praying for them and remembering that’s what church is all about – the community.
“The process with The Point started with an email I received last May from their search firm. Then I interviewed with their search team several times over a six-month period until they narrowed it down and chose us,” he said. “We raised our kids in West Carrollton and have three daughters, Morgan, 18; Marlee, 16; and Mackenzie, 13.”
Heather said the girls were pretty good about the move for the most part, like typical teenagers, and were enjoying it. The Gibsons also have a mini bernedoodle named Bentley, who is 5 months old.
“Our oldest, Morgan, is in college and we moved while she was on winter break, so she got to adjust a little to her new room, but she went to being two hours away from us to four hours away,” Heather said. “Morgan attends Mount Vernon Nazarene University in Ohio, majoring in ministry and has a double major in pastoral studies and youth and family.”
Pastor Gibson said their girls were homeschooled, so school wasn’t a big change, but leaving their friends was hard, and the house they moved from was where they pretty much grew up.
When asked why they chose to come to Seymour, Gibson said it was because of the church, being a part of the process and the interviews. Up until then, he had never heard of Seymour or Jackson County.
“We’ve never said no to interviews, and we take the opportunity to trust the Lord and what does he want for us and where does he want us to go,” Gibson said. “All of the times before this, it never worked out, and we took that to mean he wanted us in Centerville, and this time, the doors kept opening.”
He said they are excited about it and are hearing more and more about Jackson County, specifically Seymour.
“We’ve been made to feel really welcome by Roger Wessel, our Realtor, and Dan Robison, the chamber president and he also attends The Point,” Gibson said. “They’ve kind of showed us around town a little bit and have been very helpful.”
Gibson’s first full day in the office at The Point was Jan. 16, and his first day preaching onsite at the church will be Jan. 29.
“The transition has been wonderful, and Pastor (Steve) Greene and I have spent many hours together, and he has made sure I have all I need to be successful here,” he said.
Heather’s hometown was West Carrollton, and she and Jon met at West Carrollton Church of the Nazarene, which was her home church.
“We were friends for a long time and didn’t actually go out on a date until we were engaged,” she said. “We were always with our friends or my sister and his siblings.”
She said when they were still just friends, they used to meet before all of their crazy activities for the day and had a Bible study and would pray together.
Gibson said he and Heather were best friends for a long, long time, and his first year in college, he knew he liked her a lot more than a friend and thought, “I need to marry this girl.”
“I was so busy going to college and with the church plant, and she was working full time, so our story has always been focused around the church, and so we had a very unique kind of courtship,” he said.
The Gibsons will celebrate their 23rd anniversary June 3.
Heather said after they had children, she had the opportunity to stay home and homeschool their daughters.
“At church, I love the children and teen part of ministry, and something else very close to my heart is WAR (Women at Risk) International, a Christian charity that helps women and I think boys, too, who have been victims of trafficking,” she said. “I’ve hosted a few parties at our previous church for them called trunks, and you can purchase jewelry, clothing, baskets and all different kinds of things, and what you’re buying is something actually made by someone rescued from trafficking, and for my 50th birthday, I plan to throw a WAR party.”
Heather’s hobbies include activities centered around their daughters.
“I really love family time with my girls, and I also like hiking and camping and that sort of stuff,” she said. “I love flowers and biking and the occasional binge of Netflix, like ‘Gilmore Girls.’”
Outside of church, Pastor Gibson likes to be outside, where he can hunt, fish and hike. Playing board games is something the family enjoys doing together, too. He plays banjo, guitar and sings and likes to work on the occasional DIY project, remodeling the houses they’ve lived in.
“The Point is a healthy place and it’s a dream to come here, and Pastor Steve has led in amazing ways over the past 21 years he has been here,” Gibson said. “The team here is so unified and the church is so unified, and I think my hope for the church is that we can just continue to be an impact in the community and continue to meet the needs in the community and to love people and share Christ with them.”
The Point is located at 311 Myers St., Seymour, and service times are 9:30 and 11 a.m. Sundays.