OTTUMWA, IA — If you want to help others, and if you want to preach love, then you have to get involved. That was part of the advice from a senior minister to the reverend who just may be the first African American woman to lead a Baptist church in Iowa.
Reverend Diane Koger, pastors, deacons, friends and family from around the state came to the “pre-installation ceremony” at Second Baptist Church of Ottumwa. They say the mayor of Ottumwa, Tom Lazio, is going to Des Moines Sunday for the official investiture.
On Saturday, however, a senior Baptist pastor said Koger had begun visiting Ottumwa because she was called to do so. Eventually, the occasional interim position became a weekly occurrence even though she and her husband Joe reside in the Des Moines area.
“People did ask me, you’re driving an hour-and-a-half to preach? The Lord has called me and appointed me — I’m going to answer the call,” she said Saturday.
Rev. Bobby Young, the pastor of Mt. Hebron Baptist Church and a leader in several pastoral organizations, laughed about whether a leader like Pastor Koger would answer the call: “When God told Moses to go back to Egypt, to tell Pharaoh to let his people go, he didn’t say, ‘But first, check with your family, see if they’re all right with that.’”
SOURCE: Mark Newman