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New Life finds new pastor

By STEVEN CALHOUN/Staff Writer

New Life Community Church in Clanton has found a new pastor in the Rev. Chad Keeteman.

The church had been searching for a senior pastor since November 2015. The church’s associate pastor Scott Gothard filled the role while a search committee hunted for a new leader.

“Through multiple interviews, it led to him doing a visit and we felt it was enough to invest in him as our senior pastor,” Gothard said. “He’s the man for the job. It’s a great fit for us … we give all credit to God.”

Keeteman said he has been in ministry for a little over 20 years. He attended Bible college at Christ for the Nations then Dallas Baptist University.

Keeteman and his wife met in St. Louis, Missouri, and have served in the ministry together as youth pastors and church planters. He said they felt a call while at their previous church, which the couple planted, to seek out a ministry in the south.

Keeteman submitted his resume to New Life through the Association of Related Churches.

“We felt God put on our heart that we were going to come back south again,” Keeteman said. “We just have a heart for southern people, my wife being one of them.”

Keeteman said his wife is originally from Texas, and they are excited to be back in the south.

When the Keetemans left the church they planted, they were concerned about finding someone to fill their position. Keeteman said a pastor friend had just moved back to the area and started helping around the church when Keeteman felt compelled to come to New Life.

Keeteman’s friend was able to fill the position when he had to leave.

“Things just fell into place as perfectly as they possibly could,” Keeteman said. “It’s fun because here we’re hitting the ground running pretty fast. We’ve got a lot of people here that are very capable and very excited.”

Gothard and Keeteman said they are excited to be working together and excited about their vision for the church.

“I feel like for this year God put in our heart to make room, not just in space, but … preparing our hearts,” Keeteman said. “We believe the shape that’s going to take is reaching into the community, touching the lives of the people around us. We’re not here just to be a steeple in the distance.”