By Tina Snell, Staff Writer
The Fellowship Bible Church in Pierz has a new pastor. As of September 2012, Brandon Bellomo accepted the calling of the congregation and now has a church home of his own.
For many years, the Pierz ministry had Pastor Todd MacDonell as its leader. MacDonell passed away suddenly in October 2010, and the church has utilized several ministers intermittently, Bellomo being one of them.
“In June 2012, I was asked to be the interim pastor, I accepted and I preached every other week,” said Bellomo. “In September 2012, I was called to be pastor, but I still preached only every other week because I had one more year of school to attend.”
Close friends and seminary classmates of Bellomo’s stepped up during the other Sundays when he was not preaching.
Bellomo graduated from Bethlehem Seminary in Minneapolis in May and immediately moved to Morrison County.
Bellomo said he became a pastor because God made him a pastor.
“It was Aug. 14, 2004, when God revealed his son to me. He gave me a new heart and put his spirit within me,” said Bellomo. “And ever since that time, God has thrown me into the deep end of life and leadership.”
Bellomo said God has given him solid churches, good mentors, sweet friends, a godly wife and countless trials to help grow and refine him as a man.
“I can feel over my head at times, but who is sufficient for these things?” he said. “I can preach my heart out, but if God doesn’t work in people’s hearts, nothing will happen.”
Bellomo said he believes God has given him wisdom, maturity and competence.
“But, those things cannot be relied upon themselves. I need to depend on God’s spirit to do his work,” he said.
Bellomo met his wife Karin when they were both attending Northwestern College in St. Paul. They married in August 2008. Today, they have a 1-year-old daughter named Hosanna.
Bellomo, who also taught courses at Bethlehem Institute, remembers an elder from Pierz who attended his classes.
“He shared with me what his congregation was going through when it was losing MacDonell,” said Bellomo. “He asked me to come to Pierz and preach. But with my academic load, I postponed that trip for awhile.”
Bellomo said that when he finally got to Pierz and preached at the Pioneer Elementary School where the Fellowship Bible Church was holding services, it was love at first sight.
“Karin and I prayed the church would find a faithful pastor, but never thought it would be me,” he said. “I felt the people were very hospitable and warm and now I love them even more.”
Karin graduated from Northwestern College with a degree in elementary education and the Bellomos would eventually love to have a large family.
In their free time, Bellomo is learning to play the guitar and Karin is into baking, arts and crafts and is perfecting her sewing. They both love to read and spend time with Hosanna who took her first steps the other day.
The Fellowship Bible Church’s Sunday worship is still being held in Pioneer Elementary School in Pierz, but by fall should be in its new home.
The church purchased the building that formerly held the Double Deuce Bar in Genola and renovations begin this week.
“We cannot thank the Pierz School District enough for allowing the congregation to use its building for all these years,” said Bellomo. “But, we are excited and definitely looking forward to having our own place of worship.”