New Baptist pastor wants to reach out to community

Posted July 5, 2013 at 2:18 pm

Pastor Joseph Raleigh and family are new in town, and first impressions of their new home are favorable.

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uth A. Moller|The Miller Press
PASTOR JOSEPH RALEIGH and wife Vanessa are settling in to their new home in Miller, after spending five years serving a congregation in Montana.

“Our son’s playing baseball already, and helping the coach,” said Raleigh. “Everyone we’ve met has been friendly and accepting.”

Raleigh is the new pastor at Miller’s First Baptist Church. They arrived the first week of June from Montana, where they served a church in a ranching community north of Billings for five years.

Originally from Ohio, Raleigh and his wife Vanessa were “high school sweethearts,” who lived within 15 minutes of each other. They have a 12-year-old son, two daughters, ages seven and three, and a third daughter due in October.

Raleigh received undergraduate and graduate degrees from Luther Rice Seminary in Georgia. He was ordained six years ago.

Raleigh credits Kent Atkinson as a “great asset,” in serving as the interim pastor. “He’s very well thought of, and he has filled in at several churches in the area.”

And now Raleigh is anxious to become acquainted with the community. He is impressed with the Miller Area Ministerial Association, and how the members work together.

Raleigh notes members are involved with the church as well as their community. Sunday school is at 9 a.m. Sundays, and worship is at 10 a.m., and Raleigh extends an open invitation to anyone looking for a church family to attend.

“I want to reach out to the community. I’m in the process of developing a Website, and we’ve just started a Wednesday evening Bible study group, which is open to all. It starts at 7 p.m., and everyone’s welcome.”