The Rev. Steve DeGroft is the new full-time pastor of Stockton Springs Community Church. The pastor and his wife of 36 years, Linda, have relocated to the church parsonage and are already getting out onto the community meeting people and becoming part of the  town.

Steve DeGroft, raised in Lancaster County, Pa., comes with a background of 37 years in the ministry, having received his bachelor’s degree from Liberty Baptist College and master’s from Liberty Baptist Seminary. His years of ministry have included a time as director of admissions at Word of Life Bible Institute in Pottersville, N.Y., 13 years as a youth director in Southern California, and service as a pastor in two churches in Maine, including Corinth and most recently in Lisbon Falls. He is very interested in being a part of the community where he lives and works, having in the past served as a volunteer EMT and on a local public school board.

The DeGrofts met at Word of Life, where Linda was working as an administrative assistant and she, too, wants to be involved in the ministry with a particular interest in women’s issues. She plans to be involved in Bible studies and other ministries with and for women. She is a skilled decorator/homemaker as well, with a strong interest in quilting

Steve enjoys all kinds of sports and has a special feeling for the military and veterans, his father having served in the Korean War. The DeGrofts' only son, Matthew, is serving currently as a lieutenant in the Army at Fort Knox, Ky., and is expecting to be deployed to Afghanistan in the spring. In fact, there will be a special Veterans' Day observance at the church on Sunday, Nov. 11, beginning at 9 a.m., with the service dismissed in time to join the American Legion for their observance at the town’s Memorial Park. All are welcome.

The DeGrofts will welcome a wave and a smile or a handshake from any of their new neighbors, and perhaps a chance to show off a picture of their grandson.