Bevan answers call to Shiloh
By By Janet Little Cooper
Greg Bevan, the new pastor at Shiloh Freewill Baptist Church, comes from a long line of preachers.
His grandfather was a preacher. His dad at the age of 83 is an active preacher. Seven of his uncles were all preachers as well as his oldest brother, several brothers in laws, his father in law and one son in law. Several of Bevan's cousins are preachers also.
Bevan and his wife Rochelle are busy readjusting to and enjoying the 'empty nest' at their new home in Bratt, Fla.
The couple, married for 34 years this December, has two daughters and four grandchildren.
"My parents were reared in Tuscaloosa County and Fayette County, but I am a Virginia native, born in Alexandria, Va., in November of 1951," Bevan said. "My wife is a preacher's kid. She was born in Wintergarden, Fla. Besides being saved; she's the best thing that's ever happened to me. She is a great help to me in my ministry. She meets people well and she plays the piano and sings. She prays for me and "scotches" for me when I preach."
Bevan's father, Elzo Bevan, was drafted out of the eleventh grade into the Army Air Force where he became a radio operator for a B-17 bomber.
While stationed in England, he was part of what was known as "the bloody 100th". According to Bevan his father flew over 30 successful missions before being shot down over Germany. He was a prisoner of war for eight months before returning home and settling in Virginia with his family. His parents now live in Eufaula.
Bevan answered the call to preach in April of 1976. He had been to Bible College for a year and half before dropping out.
"Rochelle and I got married and were very active in the church my father pastored in Dale City, Va," Bevan said. "I was the Sunday school superintendent, a bus driver, and set aside as a deacon. But God was still dealing with me about preaching, and I answered that call in the spring of 1976. I returned to Freewill Baptist Bible College in Nashville, Tenn., and graduated three years later."
Bevan served at a church in Charlotte, Tenn., during his last two years of college, but primarily pastored churches in Northern Virginia within 40 miles of Washington D.C.
He served two years as assistant moderator and two years as moderator of the Northern Virginia Association of Freewill Baptist Churches; chair of the Northern Virginia Association of Freewill Baptist Churches mission board.
He has also served as Chair of the Salem Association of Freewill Baptist Churches Christian Education Board (Northwest Fla.), which sponsored an "Answers In Genesis" event in Marianna, Fla., and this past February; and as a member of the Florida State Christian Education Board, and as a member of the Florida state disaster relief team.
While Bevan's position at Shiloh is full time, he may seek some type of part time employment for the short term.
"I have pastored churches of considerable size, preaching to 150-175 on Sunday," Bevan said. "But I have also pastored much smaller churches, and helped build them up. Our congregation is 50-60 now, but I expect it to grow. When working with smaller churches I have worked in the HVAC field (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning). I hold a Masters for the trade. I would like to find something part time in the trade, but that is difficult to find. Most of what I do now in the trade is heat load calculations, and design duct systems."
For now Bevan will be focusing on leading the church and continuing his exercise regiment of walking two to three miles a day as well as getting some time in fishing on his boat that he has been tempted to name "visitation."
"I want to lead our church to be a "normal" church," Bevan said. "According to the Book of Acts, the early church was a "going" church, a "glowing" church, a "growing" church and a "groaning" (praying) church. That formula still works today. We want to strengthen the programs we have and expand our programs, but the objective will always be to reach people for Jesus Christ."