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By James McAfee/The Knox County News-Courier—
KNOX CITY—Members of the Knox City and Benjamin Methodist churches may feel like they are in Hawaii on Sunday mornings later this summer.
New pastor Curtis Schrader recently received approval to preach wearing some of his favorite Hawaiian shirts.
Schrader, who has served in New Home and Aspermont the past six years, will move to Knox June 29 and teach his first lessons at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, July 5, in Benjamin. He will then drive to Knox City for the 11 a.m. service as part of a “Methodist two-point serve.”
Raised in Sanderson, a small community in the Big Bend area of far West Texas, Schrader graduated from Sul Ross State University in Alpine with a bachelor’s degree in political science, a master’s degree in public Administration and a master’s degree in business administration. In addition, he is a graduate of the Southern Methodist University and the Perkins School of Theology, Course of Study School.
In his previous career, Schrader served as a city manager in six small communities—Marfa, Texas, Cloudcroft, N.M., Artesia, N.M., Eunice, N.M., Jal, N.M. and Sundown, Texas.
“God’s call on my life into ministry, and my answering that call, spanned over 30 years,” he said. “I first heard God’s call on me into ministry when I was about 13. Unfortunately, I was not ready or prepared to answer that call. I wasn’t really sure how to answer it or if I wanted to answer it. I was even afraid to answer it.
“I avoided the call and life happened (some good, some not-so-good) with plenty of distractions (some good, some not-so-good) that kept me from hearing or answering God’s call. God continued to call, but I still wasn’t ready, prepared, or willing to answer.”
Schrader said life continued to happen (some good, some not-so-good).
“I finally reached a point (after a series of not-so-good happenings in my life) when I had my ‘come to Jesus’ moment in 2001 at the age of 46. I was finally ready to listen to what God was saying to me; what God was calling me to do. I also was finally ready to answer God and ready to follow God – I needed help, God’s help.
He said God placed people in his life that helped him answer His call.
“They helped me to find the path, the purpose, and the plan that God had for me.”
Schrader started the process of becoming a Methodist pastor in 2012. He received his first appointment as a pastor in 2014 and completed the required course of study classes in 2019.
“I am looking forward to continuing to answer, follow and serve God in the next two churches that he has sent me to—Knox City and Benjamin.”
Schrader, who has a daughter living in El Paso and a son who lives in Waxahachie, said his personal interests include the previously mentioned Hawaiian shirts, golf, hunting and local history.
Brooks Morton from Lubbock has been serving the two churches during 2020.