Apr. 3—DANVILLE — As we all know, change is the only constant in life. Recently, the East Park Church of Christ in Danville changed ministers. After 26 years in the pulpit ministering to the congregation, Denis Floyd recently retired and as of February 1, Steve Cordle assumed the pulpit minister's duties. Cordle comes with his wife Debbie and daughter Amelia.
The Cordle's moved to Danville from north Florida to work with the East Park congregation to help it grow. Steve is originally from Montgomery, Alabama, but, thanks largely to the U.S. Air Force, he grew up in Alaska. Like many people, he thought he was a Christian, until a Christian roommate studied the Bible with him. After about four months of study, Steve was baptized for the forgiveness of his sins in January 1985. After graduating with a BA in Criminal Justice from the University of Alaska, Steve relocated to Colorado and eventually graduated from the Bear Valley Bible Institute of Denver in 1994. Later that year, he met Debbie, who was born and raised in Denver. They married on October 21, 1995. Their journey through life took the Cordles to Indiana, Canada, Colorado, Oklahoma, Alabama, Florida and now Illinois. Steve brings a wide variety of life experiences gained working in ministry, group homes, insurance, retail sales and the newspaper business as a reporter and columnist. Along the way, Steve wrote several articles and three books. The first book is entitled "Once Saved (NOT) Always Saved," he later authored "A Closer Walk With Jesus" and in 2020, "God, Grace and You" was released by 21st Century Christian Publishers of Nashville, Tenn. In addition to his writing, Cordle started a YouTube channel as a teaching tool. As with any couple, there were life changes, but the biggest change happened with a phone call on a Sunday in July 2013 from Christian Family Services in Gainsville, Florida. Two days later, Steve and Debbie picked up their daughter Amelia who, by then, was four days old.
One of the things that caused the Cordles to consider relocating to Danville was the diversity.
"We are a transracial family," Cordle said. "It is important for us to be in a community that reflects that for our daughter, as well as having a good school system."
Both Steve and Debbie have been heavily involved in community activities. Steve has been a Toastmaster, Rotarian and in Monticello, Florida, chaired the School Advisory Committee (SAC) for two years. Debbie was president of the PTO in Monticello and is a trained vocalist who sang with the Sweet Adaline's. You might also see them in local community theater. Debbie has stage-managed for two productions of the Wizard of Oz. She also managed productions of Alice through the Looking Glass, Beehive, Our Town and King of Lullaby by Chad Evett. On stage, Debbie was part of the ensemble for Sweeny Todd, while Steve portrayed Pontius Pilate in the Passion of Jesus and appeared in the Sound of Murder and Murder at Café Noir. Amelia is a second-grade honor student who plays soccer, flag football and basketball. She is also showing promise as an artist.
COVID-19 has challenged the East Park Church of Christ like it has all other churches.
"Right now, we are meeting only for Sunday morning worship at 10:30 a.m.," Cordle said. "Our Sunday night and Wednesday night activities are suspended for the time being, but we will get them back on track as soon as possible."
The Sunday morning service is live-streamed on the church's Facebook and YouTube pages and Cordle posts most sermons, plus an assortment of other lessons to his own YouTube channel.
"I try to present my Sunday sermons more in a conversation style as opposed to a straight lecture," Cordle said. "I don't stand in one place behind the pulpit. I use PowerPoint in a way that is a big help for people who like to take notes for further study.
"We welcome visitors to come and bring their questions," Cordle said.
He further stated that sermon or Bible class requests and suggestions are welcome.
"Christianity is meant for thinkers and if I get questions and sermon requests from people, it means people are reading the Bible and thinking about what they read. Besides, if I get a request for a sermon, I figure at least one person is interested in the sermon on Sunday."
In addition to increasing the congregation's Bible knowledge, future plans include increasing the church membership and attendance, offering mail-order correspondence courses to interested people in the area, online Bible classes and involvement in community events.
"I want to see the East Park Church of Christ become the thriving, zealous, enthusiastic, soul-winning congregation that God desires us to be, with every member involved in some phase of the work."
Visitors are invited to worship with the East Park Church of Christ at 10:30 a.m. each Sunday.