St John's Community Church in Rosedale will welcome two new pastors this week, with husband-and-wife team Dave and Shelly Drage taking over ministerial duties in the township.
The church, which is a central feature of Rosedale, was previously managed by much-loved Bundaberg couple Adrian and Narelle Iles for three and a half years.
Adrian and Narelle commenced the self-funded evangelical Qld Baptists ministry at Rosedale in 2016 until Adrian's passing last year.
The ‘Little Memorial St John's Church' was erected in 1923 and commissioned in 1924.
The new pastors will take on an important role in the Rosedale community, one that was so passionately filled by previous Pastor Adrian Iles.
The impact Adrian had on every community he became part of has been beautifully highlighted in a tribute piece written by his wife Narelle and two sons Thomas and Andrew after his passing last year.
“Before his calling to the church, Adrian had established himself as a much-loved teacher in Bundaberg, with his teaching career first taking his family on a journey up and down Central Queensland,” the tribute said.
“Approximately every five years, Adrian would experience what he called “itchy feet” and pursued the excitement of a transfer to a new location and school.
“Some of the schools he taught at included Bundaberg South State School and Bundaberg Christian College.
“After 28 fruitful years, Adrian finally retired from education, finishing in the role of Head of Primary at Bundaberg Christian College.”
Adrian and Narelle take over St John's Church in Rosedale
“Obeying the call of God, Adrian commenced formal study in theology, with full time ministry in mind,” the tribute read.
“Adrian and Narelle purchased a little church on a hill, situated in the township of Rosedale.
“For the last 3.5 years Adrian served as pastor, mentor, counsellor, and friend to all members.
“Adrian was a man of the people and loved to be engaged within the community, by helping and supporting in every way possible.”
New owners honour Adrian's legacy
New owners Dave and Shelley said they would continue to honour and maintain the heritage listed building, just as Adrian and Narelle had previously done.
The couple have just arrived in the region from Far North Queensland, where they had been ministering through Cape York and the Gulf of Carpentaria.
“When we first came to Rosedale to view the beautiful church and to meet Narelle in person, we just fell in love with the town straight away,” Pastor Dave said.
“We stayed in the pub and upon talking to the locals, we knew this was a place that we wanted to be.”
Pastor Dave said he and wife Shelly had been ministering for more than 20 years in various mainstream Christian denominations and was looking forward to continuing their journey in Rosedale.
“We will be having a meet and greet event at the Rosedale Hotel on Saturday from 10am,” he said.
“We are really looking forward to meeting everyone because to us, it is all about the people, that's why we love doing what we do.”