When Charlie Pitford began serving as a Bible worker in Marceline, Missouri, in 2021, church attendance averaged eight people per week. However, over the past year church attendance has more than doubled to about 20 weekly attendees.

Due to COVID, Pitford was laid off from his job. But God already had a new job lined up for him. Less than two hours after Pitford lost his job, Robert Wagley, former executive secretary for the Iowa-Missouri Conference, and Lee Roccholz, ministerial director, asked if Pitford would consider being a Bible worker in the area.

Pitford accepted the offer and has been intentionally conversing with community members since. Pitford said he has handed out thousands of books to community members and has heard positive feedback from some of these individuals. He has also had several Bible studies with community members and recently had a baptism.

Pitford said he has enjoyed being a spiritual mentor. He said he enjoys meeting people’s needs and finds the work encouraging to himself. He said he believes spiritual mentoring is important and it can be as simple as a short conversation.

“Even if it’s only for two or three minutes, that’s mentoring to me,” Pitford reflected.

Rochholz said he is happy to see the growth in attendance and says Bible workers in rural churches have been successful.

“The conference believes that small churches in rural areas are important and need to grow. … Bible work is all about taking the time to build relationships with people and helping them on their spiritual journey,” Rochholz said.