by Beth Bustin
It’s been few weeks since Rev. Stephen M. Deane transitioned to Lead Pastor at New Covenant Church (NCC) and as one who has the privilege of serving with Steve, I thought it would be fun to talk to Steve and the family and hear what they have to say about this new chapter in their lives. So, I met with Kim and the kids (Reuben, Eliana, Joha, and Lucas) on the playground recently, and then with Steve, to hear what they had to say.
I began with the kids. Their answers were entertaining, peppered with some serious concerns, like how much longer they’d have to stay after church each Sunday before they could go home. Eliana mentioned that her dad’s new job came with a new office; now that was funny to me because Steve moved downstairs into the 7’x9’.5” utility room in the back of the office a few months back so Tyler would have office space in the building with the rest of the staff. He liked the space so much (especially in the winter because the furnace keeps him warm) that he decided to stay there so that he could use the office space previously occupied by Mark as a conference room to allow for more space for meetings with Staff, Elders, Ministry leaders and others. Eliana also noted that his new job meant he had to preach more sermons, which btw, she finds boring. Reuben noted that his dad was taking Pastor Mark’s place as pastor and that his dad is a good preacher and teacher, saying that he’s taught him about sharing, and about caring more for others than yourself. Joha said there were too many stories to tell and Lucas was just happy to share his cereal with me. One thing the kids were all in agreement about was their dad is funny and a jokester. I didn’t need any convincing of that as we’ve witnessed a boatload of his antics in the office—really!
After the kids had said all they had to say and were off to play, I took a few minutes to hear from Kim. Kim, a country girl at heart, was born in Pennsylvania, where both sets of grandparents owned dairy farms. She grew up loving animals and the outdoors. At age 12, Kim’s family moved to Elim Bible College in Lima, NY where she became a ‘campus kid’. Kim would eventually attend and graduate from Elim and go on to Regent University and receive a Masters in Management with a specialization in Non-Profit Organizations.
Kim got to know Steve while they both were students at Elim, but it wasn’t until after Kim’s graduation that Steve eventually invited her out on a date for his birthday. He said he had been watching Kim and liked what he saw; she made good decisions so he trusted her and what she had to say. They married in 2000 and Steve brought Kim with him to Hampton where he was already serving as Youth Pastor at NCC.
They have enjoyed serving together, initially in the Youth Group, on mission trips and in small groups, and more recently doing pre-marital counseling sessions together. They enjoy walks on the beach, traveling, and just simply relaxing together after the kids go to bed.
Our new pastor loves to cook. Kim says he is the best cook in the house as he is the creative one—using whatever’s on hand to create something yummy. Steve enjoys the outdoors, both hunting and fishing. He’s an avid learner; you’ll usually find him reading some academic, theological writings, and surfing bibliographies.
As I listened to all that Steve and Kim had to say, which unfortunately is more than I have space for here, what I heard both of them mention is that what’s most important in this new chapter of their lives, is people; in the church, outside the church, you and me and them. They are both passionate about people and relationships. Kim said, “you can’t separate people from ministry”. It’s important to Kim that people feel welcomed at NCC and get connected. Steve said, ‘he loves the part of his ‘job’ that gives him “access to people”. When I asked him where he sees NCC in five years, he responded, “open, happy, diverse and in awe of Jesus”.
(For more of the story, make an effort to get to know the #newpastoratncc and his family feel free to join us for our Sunday Morning Service!)
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