He’s Pastor Jason Dampeir (dam-peer’) and on November 14 he will become the new pastor at Word of God Lutheran Church, located on Hwy. 34 just west of Sam’s, on the same side of the highway as Sam’s. His wife is Jessica. And, yes, they are a great young couple. She will transfer her employment to a Starbucks near you.
They are both originally from Florida. He worked his way through college working at Publix and then stayed on professionally there after graduation in the Customer Service Department, which will serve him very well working with people in any church, right? He then attended and graduated seminary, and was ordained a Lutheran minister in 2018. From then until present he has been an Associate Pastor in North Carolina.
By way of introduction of Pastor Jason to you, I share with you some of his correspondence with the congregation as they both were in prayerful consideration of joining together as pastor and people, shepherd and flock.
I believe as you get to know Pastor Jason through these insights, and hopefully in person, you will agree with me that he is, indeed, a very fine young pastor, with Biblical and traditional convictions so needed in our community for young and old alike.
The very first good question that was asked of Pastor Jason was this: How do you understand the Bible as the Word of God? I invite you to read carefully his response and compare it to so many answers these days even by pastors who do not hold the Holy Scriptures in appropriate high regard.
Pastor Jason answered this:
“As Luther was famous for saying, the Bible is the manger that holds the baby Jesus. I believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God. Through it, God reveals himself to us, calls us out of sin, gives us his grace, and leads us into the life he has created and designed for us to live, a life that is eternal.
“I don’t usually throw around the terminology a lot because it can be interpreted in many different ways, but I do believe the Bible to be inerrant. It will not lead us to err. I take that to mean it can and should be trusted. Since it is the inspired Word of God, it holds authority over us, and it informs us in how we are to live in relationship to God and with one another. Also, since we believe the Bible to be the Word of God, we should devote ourselves to lifelong learning of the Word and its context, so that we can draw from all that it has to offer us.”
Then there was this question about being a pastor: Explain your understanding of being a pastor. Again, I point out the depth of Pastor Jason’s self-understanding and his lack of any desire for personal gain or power.
Pastor Jason’s answer:
“I believe everyone is called to ministry through their baptism. By faithfully serving God wherever we are, through serving our neighbors, God makes his love known to those around us. As a pastor, I get the honor and privilege of serving in vocational ministry as a minister of the gospel. While I believe the pastoral office to be a holy office, I don’t think it is holier than any other calling, because God has a holy purpose for each of us.
“This office is not something I am entitled to, and it is not something I believe I am qualified to do. It is only by the grace of God that I can serve in this role. I believe my primary role in this office is, as it is stated in the Augsburg Confession (the teachings of the Lutheran Church), to faithfully preach the Word (that comes through Holy Scriptures, the Bible) and rightly administer the Sacraments (of Holy Baptism and Holy Communion).”
This next question was also asked. One, of course, very important to those who will hear his sermons and very important to you in the community who are now being invited to hear his sermons. The question: What is your understanding of preaching, and how would you describe your preaching?
Pastor Jason gives this compelling answer:
“As I once heard Dr. Amy Schifrin say, the role of the sermon is to bring the dead to life. My understanding of preaching is to communicate what the scriptures say in a relatable manner so that the hearers may be brought to new life in Jesus. I am a firm believer that this is done through properly distinguishing law and gospel so that all may come to see the way they have fallen short of the glory of God (law), see their need for a savior, and see what God has done in Jesus (gospel) and is doing through the Holy Spirit to bring them to newness of life.
“As far as style, I don’t like to be married to a particular style, but I would say I’m more of an expository preacher. I like to do a considerable amount of study on the text (Bible verses) throughout the week. For the sermon, I like to explain the text in a way for people to understand it while drawing themes from the text and using a variety of illustrations to support it. I do not believe the sermon is a Bible study, so I do not typically go verse to verse, but I find it best to let the text guide me each week.
“As for my illustrations, I try to mix things up a bit. I usually try to find stories, personal experiences, current events, or other images to illustrate the point of the text, and at times, those images come from the text itself. FYI, if you visit our website at holytrinitygastonia.org or our Facebook page, you can watch the videos of my past sermons.”
Thank you, Pastor Jason, for helping us get to know you here in the Sharpsburg, Newnan, and Peachtree City region. We look forward to you and Jessica living and serving among us.
And thank you, Fayette/Coweta community, for welcoming this great young pastor and his wife into our wonderful corner of God’s World. If you do not presently have a church home, dress casually and go to the 10:15 Sunday service at Word of God Lutheran Church on Hwy. 34 just west of Sam’s. I believe you will find a great young pastor, a most friendly church, and a great church home for you and your family. Oh yes, they love children and youth, and Pastor Jason plans to dedicate much of his time and ministry with children and youth. Sunday School is at 9 o’clock. Great!
[Kollmeyer, a Fayette County resident for 35 years, is Pastor Emeritus at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Fayetteville. Follow Pastor Scott Ness and this great church at www.princeofpeacefayette.org. Kollmeyer is also Interim Pastor at Word of God Lutheran Church in Sharpsburg for two more weeks. Find his weekly video recorded sermons at www.woglutheran.org.]