CNJ staff photo: Liliana Castillo Reverend David Bachelor came to Clovis’ Kingswood Methodist Church in June after two tours in Iraq as a Navy chaplain.
By Liliana Castillo: CNJ staff writer
Reassignment to Clovis’ Kingswood United Methodist Church was a good fit for Rev. David Bachelor.
Bachelor, a reserve Airbone Ranger, said his experience with special operations gave him the experience he needed to be a link between the church and the Cannon Air Force Base community.
“It’s been less than a year since I’ve last thrown myself out of an airplane,” Bachelor said. “So it’s not a huge move.”
Bachelor was previously a pastor in England, did two tours in Iraq as a reserve Navy chaplain, and served as a missionary in Communist China. He also spent time in Mexico while in high school and was an exchange student in South Africa.
“I never really had a plan to travel,” Bachelor said. “God just seems to bring me to all different kinds of places.”
Bachelor’s father worked in juvenile corrections and Bachelor was on a boys ranch. Bachelor spent time working in corrections and law enforcement before he became a pastor.
Bachelor, who came to Kingswood in June, said the first few months of his tenure have been shadowed by the High Plains Fall Festival. The festival has been in the works since January and Bachelor said all the churches are on the lookout for new members.
“We’re waiting to see what fruit comes from the event,” he said. “We’re hoping to get a set of new believers.”
The church has a new believers’ class ready for Sunday.
Bachelor said he intends to spend his first year at Kingswood getting to know the dynamics of the church. Next year, Bachelor intends to restructure the services.
“We have a younger generation asking for their needs to be met,” he said.
The church, founded in 1956, has seven adult Bible studies. Bachelor said five of them have been together for 30 years.
“It’s hard if you’re new and you step into a Bible study and you feel like you’re missing 30 years of history,” he said.
The church will implement a new system which will cycle six-week classes on various topics. In the seventh week, all the groups will meet and new classes will be posted in the sanctuary and in the eighth week, a new class begins. Bachelor said the cycle would also provide flexibility if a teacher wanted to instruct on a certain topic for longer than six weeks.
“I want to start a church that focuses on small groups and the accountability that comes with small groups,” Bachelor said.
Bachelor is aiming to start the new system in September. Bachelor said he hopes the new program will help make the church more “user-friendly.”
Bachelor is also hoping to improve the church’s elementary education program. Dustin Burrow, a university studies major at Eastern New Mexico University, has come on board to help with the project.
“Our elementary education program is the weakest part of our church. We use Methodist curriculum and the lessons are very curricular-centered,” Bachelor said. “We’re in the Internet and YouTube age. We need to find a multimedia way to teach kids. We want kids excited to go Sunday school.”
Burrow said he plans to focus on a “tween” program.
“I think that the fourth through sixth grade age are key in the developmental phase. By the time a kid reaches sixth and seventh grade, they’re normally going through confirmation and starting to solidify their beliefs,” he said. “Their beliefs solidify through the tools and truths we give them.”
Burrow said he believes that Bachelor’s ideas are ministry driven.