Andrew Bellisle was commissioned as a CRE at our presbytery meeting last month and is serving as Minister of Discipleship and Youth at Westminster in Rapid City. Check out our interview with him and be sure to extend him a warm welcome.
Tell us a little about yourself.
Southern raised and mountain-made, I live for the glorious adventure God has set before me. I grew up just south of Atlanta, living and breathing soccer and music. So… I went to college to study music at Belmont University in Nashville, TN. During my time there, I found another interest too—rock climbing.
These combined interests led me to serve with A Christian Ministry in the National Parks (ACMNP). It was through that ministry that I met my amazing bride, Laura…that I discovered my pastoral calling…and that I was connected to Denver Seminary. One step led to another as God faithfully brought me to this wonderful church, Westminster in Rapid City.
What drew you to explore and accept the call to serve at Westminster?
The previous Executive Director of ACMNP, Spencer Lundgaard, became a huge mentor in my life. He helped me land a scholarship for seminary. He married my wife and me. And he even served as my official “school” mentor throughout seminary. Well it turns out that Spencer went to Princeton with our Senior Pastor at Westminster, Bob Jacobs. The two have stayed connected for years through a covenant group of colleagues. Once again, Spencer connected the dots in my life and encouraged me to explore the opportunity.
Westminster is a loving, welcoming and committed congregation. Laura and I were pretty quickly drawn to everything; we discovered it’s family. I am particularly excited to learn what created such a collaborative culture that so wholeheartedly buys in to mission. And I obviously have much to learn from Bob.
What are you most excited about as you begin your ministry?
I don’t think I could have written a job description that I wanted more. In a single day, I go from planning a back-packing trip, to teaching a student drum lessons, to planning a sermon, to encouraging our LifeGroup leaders. I love the breadth of what I am allowed to do here, even as an associate. And I feel like I’m getting to throw everything I have on the table, saying, “Here God, what will you use today?”
How can we be praying for you?
Even though I love the breadth of my job, I have always endangered myself by spreading too thin. Bob and I have a lot on our plate here, and I have much to learn still about managing a full-time pastor’s schedule. Please pray for patience and wisdom as I discern ways to love Westminster’s community well, while still prioritizing my own family and passions.