Aulne finds its new pastor - in Thailand
After hearing a sermon Sunday morning by Bryan Lowery, members of Aulne Church voted to hire him as their new pastor.
Bryan and his wife, Sommer, traveled more than 8,700 miles to get to Marion from Thailand, where they have been missionaries for 12 years.
Bryan is a native of Hays. He trained for the ministry at Faith Baptist Bible College in Iowa, Cornerstone University in Michigan, and Fort Hays State University. He is pursuing a doctorate in divinity.
He married Sommer, a Michigan girl, in 2001. They moved back to Hays, where he served under his father as assistant pastor at a Baptist church for 12 years. Sommer taught elementary school.
They were inspired to do service abroad after meeting visiting missionaries. They moved to Thailand in 2014 and were sponsored by 15 churches and 20 individuals.
“Our goal was to plant a Thai church while showing God’s love and sharing the gospel as effectively as possible,” Bryan said.
They spent more than a year learning the Thai language and for five years worked with established ministries. They led Bible studies, conducted activities in slums, and taught English in schools and universities.
“We did all of that with the purpose of sharing the gospel,” Bryan said.
During the past three years, Bryan has been pastoring an international church he planted in a small city. The congregation includes people from Kenya, the South Africa, the United Kingdom, the U.S., the Philippines, and Thailand.
He preaches in English and in Thai.
The Lowerys have seven children. They began to consider returning to America when their oldest son, Izaac, enroll in college last fall in Ohio. They saw that some of their children would need help transitioning to America, but they decided to remain in Thailand another four or five years.
They learned from a friend about Aulne Church needing a pastor. being without a pastor since October.
The couple was hesitant to consider it but decided “maybe this is an open door.”
Communications began. In July, Aulne pastoral search team interviewed Bryan online and selected him to come and preach to the congregation as a candidate.
The Lowerys spent the past week in Marion, meeting with church members and learning about the community.
After being accepted by the church, they looked at several houses. They plan to move in November at the latest.
Their children are Izaac, 19; Alie, 17; Maggie, 16; Kinzie, 15; Jonah, 13; Titus, 6; and Levi, 5.
Sommer said it would take a while for the family to learn the culture of the church and community, as it did when they moved to Thailand 12 years ago.
“My desire is for the people in the church to grow in their faith and grow in God’s word,” he said. “My ambition is for all of us to get a deeper appreciation for the word.”
Last modified Aug. 25, 2022