The Beverly Community Church welcomed new pastor Toby Flaming with a community-wide hot dog roast and picnic Sunday, October 25, at the Beverly City Park. Flaming has joined the church following the departure of long-time Pastor Jonathan Harvey, who is semi-retired from the ministry, and relocated, along with wife Charlene, to Hastings, Neb.
Flaming took the time to answer some questions via e-mail recently, and what follows are his responses: Tell us about your family.
Are you married? Do you have children? I am married. I have been married to Kathryn for three years now, no children.
Where are you from originally? I was raised in Inman, Kan., on a small farm. My dad had (and still has) a herd of cattle and raises wheat, milo, beans, and hay for the cattle. My mother raises chickens, plants, and does much baking for the farmer’s market. As a kid, I can also remember times when my parents raised pigs, ducks, a couple turkeys, and Corgi puppies. We as kids also raised bucket calves. I enjoyed that kind of an upbringing.
Tell us about your education. What year did you graduate high school, college, seminary? I graduated from Inman High School in 2009 with a God-given desire for ministry (though many would probably not have guessed at that point). Pursuing that desire, I attended Northland International University, a Bible College in the north woods of Wisconsin. The college was literally in the woods – no nearby city other than a tiny town 10 minutes away. The back side of the college was the woods – and so was the front, and both sides. I can recall at least on one occasion seeing a black bear and her three cubs walking through the campus. It is there where I met my wife Kathryn who is a pastor’s daughter from the southern part of Wisconsin. We worked at a camp together (Camp Chetek) for a couple of summers where we started dating.
Is this your first assignment as a Pastor? If not, where did you serve at prior to coming to the Beverly Community Church? This is my first Pastorate. Wisconsin was too cold so we came back to Kansas. (I say that jokingly. I did not enjoy the winters there but why we actually came back is for a few other reasons, all of which God had a hand in). My pastor from Medora Community Bible Church had recommended that we get involved with Village Bible Church in Salina. We went for it and God provided a job and a house. For the last couple years, my wife and I have been involved serving in any way that we could and were able (specifically with the teenage group) while working a full time job.
What drew you to Beverly? This question is hard to put in words, but simply stated, God worked things together to bring us here. I never knew Beverly existed before being invited by the church to come and preach, but when I came, I noticed there was (and is) a wonderful spirit in the church. You can tell God is alive in the lives of the people here. They seek to read, follow, obey, and even pray scripture. I noticed the Bible was first and foremost here – something that is of great importance. I’m not saying that this is a perfect church. It is full of sinners … including myself. But there is a desire to know the Bible and follow the Lord. Even up to this point in my time here that observation has been confirmed.
What are some things you hope to accomplish through your ministry? My number one goal, and deepest burden, is to preach the Word faithfully. We are working through the book of John right now verse by verse. Along these same lines, my desire is to see people repent and turn to Christ and follow Him alone with their whole being. From there, to see people grow in the Lord and walk with Him. If these things are accomplished all other things are secondary.