January 31, 2014

By Fred Koenig

Garrett Drake has been named the new Missouri Conference Catalyst for Next Generation Ministry. He started January 15. 
    
“The Catalyst for Next Generation Ministry is a newly organized position which is responsible for resourcing local congregations in creating discipleship processes for youth and young adults, through the youth, college-age and camping ministries in our conference,” said Director of the Center for Pastoral Excellence Karen Hayden. 
    
Drake grew up in Lawton, Oklahoma. He worked as a systems analyst for a civilian contractor of the military in Fort Sill, OK, during his last year of high school and before starting college. He attended college at Southern Nazerene University, and while there he responded to his call to ministry and switched his degree program to theology and ministry. 
    
After completing seminary Drake received an ecumenical grant for studying the unchurched population and how this population impacts church growth. During this three-year time span he worked in the Houston, TX, area, planting churches in Baytown and Nassau Bay and starting two college campus ministries. For seven years Drake has served as a consultant for church revitalization for the Evangelical Free Church of America.     
    
Missouri Conference Director of Camping and Retreat Ministries Lee Walz retired in the fall of 2013. Missouri Conference Coordinator of Youth and College Age Ministries Beverly Boehmer retired this month. Although neither person is being replaced, the Catalyst position is not a merger of the two previous positions, but rather a new position. 
    
“I believe this allows the Missouri Conference to look at the affinity of those aged 12 through 25 as a whole so that the discipleship processes can be strengthened in a strategic way,” Drake said. 
    
Most recently he has been serving as executive pastor at Epworth United Methodist Church in Chickasha, Oklahoma. There he focused on church revitalization and served as administrator for the church’s daycare and private elementary school. 
    
Drake has moved to Columbia with his wife, Crystal, and his daughter Kayleigh.