"> '); Girard Bible Church: Girard, KS > Mike Reith

Mike Reith

I confess that I am a sinner in need of a Savior, and therefore I have believed God in His plan for my salvation through Jesus Christ the promised Messiah. The sin that entered the world at the Fall of man caused spiritual death, just as God promised, because it created a permanent chasm in the relationship between God and man that man could not fix. The only One Who could make this relationship right was God, and all those people of faith in the Old Testament, even though they were sinners, were saved because they believed God and His plan of salvation through the promised Messiah. After Christ's death, burial, and resurrection, those who repent of their sins and believe God that His plan for our salvation is through Christ Jesus the promised Messiah in the Old Testament, are saved from the eternal separation and punishment all deserve because of their sin. I was spiritually dead in my trespasses and sins, but God called me to be born again as His child, made possible by the sacrificial atonement for my sins through Christ's shed blood on the cross. I realize every day that I am a sinner continually in need of a Savior, and I thank God for rescuing me from spiritual darkness and eternal death, and bringing me into His marvelous light. I do not know when this happened in my life, because I do not remember a time when I didn't believe in Christ as my Lord and Savior, but I do know that my first public profession of this faith would have been at my confirmation back in the spring of 1978. I have given my testimony several times since then, including at my believer's baptism in December 1998.

The Lord has been so faithful to me throughout my life! When I look back, there is abundant and overwhelming evidence of His mercy, grace, and faithfulness! I grew up attending a Missouri Synod Lutheran Church with my family. There has never been a time in my life (that I can remember) where I didn’t believe in God and in Jesus Christ as Savior. The instruction I had through church, Sunday School, and VBS made a huge impact on my faith as a young child. I participated in 2 years of Confirmation/Catechism classes during my middle school years, and I consider this experience as my first significant point of spiritual growth.

Early on in our marriage, the Lord called us out of the Lutheran denomination, and we began attending an Evangelical church. Personally, I began attending a men’s Bible study, and I would definitely consider this as my next significant point of spiritual growth. The teaching I received was excellent, and the fellowship was something I had never experienced before at that level. I grew to the point where I was afforded opportunities to teach in a variety of situations in the church. This most certainly would be my third significant point of spiritual growth.

Several years later, the Lord called me into part-time vocational ministry as the Middle School/High School Student Ministries Director for the church we were attending. It was an incredibly rewarding period of my life, as I was blessed with opportunities to teach, preach, develop curriculum, plan and lead retreats and mission trips, host special events, and have direct involvement in the salvation and/or discipleship of the students in my care. Again, looking back, this was yet another significant period of spiritual growth in my life.

After five and a half years of student ministry, the Lord once again guided me in a different direction. My wife Lori and I began attending a Bible church, and we also started a children’s ministry primarily for kids in poverty situations. We met weekly on Wednesday nights during the school year, and we also had summer VBS events for them. A few unique aspects of this ministry: we did not host it at a church (we utilized community buildings and elementary schools), and we provided transportation. My role was to find or develop curriculum, to recruit servant leaders to partner in the ministry, to co-teach with my wife, and to provide the organization and structure of the events. These were seven amazing and rewarding years of ministry, as the Lord used the ministry to eternally impact many kids and families. And this was no doubt another significant time of spiritual growth in my life.

And that brings us to the present time. The Lord had a major change of plans for us, as He gave us the opportunity to return home to Southeast Kansas in the summer of 2019 after 30 years of being in other parts of the state. Both Lori and I grew up in the Girard area and still have family here, so we were excited to come home. We trusted that the Lord would guide us to the right church, and He once again did not disappoint! We are so blessed to be part of the GBC family, and we truly appreciate the focus on teaching the whole counsel of God and practicing the “one anothers” of the faith. I have had the privilege of teaching Adult and Youth Sunday School, small group studies, the middle school/high school Adventure Club class, and leading VBS. I have also been blessed with the high honor and heavy responsibility of filling the pulpit when Noah needs me to. This continues to be the latest significant point of spiritual growth for me, but I know there is much more to come. My desire is to bring honor and glory to the Lord in all I do; to live a life of faith, witness, and worship; to use my spiritual gifts to edify the body and equip the saints; and to make a Kingdom impact in the community.

It’s difficult to narrow the most rewarding aspect of being an elder down to just one! I appreciate being part of a loving body of believers who love God’s Word and who truly understand what it means to practice the “one anothers”. It is such a blessing to partner with my fellow elders and brothers in Christ in the servant leadership of the church. I also cherish the opportunities to preach and teach.

I have been honored and blessed to serve as an elder of Girard Bible Church since October 2021.

My wife Lori and I have been married since 1984. We have three children (all grown and married), and six grandchildren. We love being Papa and Mimi!