After moving from the big state of Texas just shy of a month ago, Joe and Becca Dowdy quickly adjusted to life in small-town Iowa. Making their way to Corydon, the family feels at home as they begin their new path with the beginning of LivingStone Church.
The church is a transplant from the Corner Stone Church in Chariton and will be holding services every Sunday at 10 a.m. in the Wayne Theatre.
“The Corner Stone Church was started about 21 years ago and has been very successful and is a blessed church,” said Doug Davis. “We recognized a fair number of people were driving from Corydon to Chariton for church and we began having a conversation well over a year ago to possibly start a church in Corydon. It just grew from there.”
“We moved back to Texas after spending 10 years in Polland as missionaries and I served as a pastor in Texas for seven years prior to that,” began Joe. “I put up my resumes searching where the Lord wanted us to serve again. One day I got a call from Iowa and thought where is this place?”
“We had to look it up on the map to see where Iowa was from Texas,” Becca laughed.
After a few conversations, the Dowdy family packed up their belongings and made the trip to Iowa where their new journey to serve would begin.
“The connection just seemed natural,” said Becca. “We already feel like we have family here.”
“There is a lot of like mindedness and where there isn’t there is room for growth so we are extremely glad to be here,” said Joe.
Joe and Becca were surprised at how quickly their family has transitioned with this move to Iowa.
“Our kids love it here,” said Joe. “We are going to run out of money because our kids keep walking to the grocery store or the coffee shop. We wondered how our kids would respond but they ahave exceeded my expectations so we are very thankful for that.”
As the plans for a new church was in the beginning stages, one thing they knew for sure was they wanted a full time pastor.
“The church will be small starting out by most people’s standards but with the support from the Corner Stone Church in Chariton we just felt we didn’t want to the route of having a part-time pastor,” said Davis. “We wanted someone that was fully invested in this work.”
Meetings were held once a month in the theatre for the past several months to help become prepared for the environment within the theatre.
“It’s a fun time for a church,” said Joe. “Lots of energy with new ideas and hopes as we look forward to see what God is going to do.”
“We are going to see how God leads us staying within the theatre,” said Davis. “It could be years we continue to hold services within the theatre, we just don’t know.”
“It’s a way we are able to give back to the community by being in that building,” said Becca. “They are trying to revive the building and we hope this is helping. The theatre board has been terrific to work with.”
Davis added chuckling, “sorry to say however we aren’t serving popcorn but it has been a topic of discussion.”
“We are giving bags of popcorn in our welcome bags though,” said Becca.
“This is all in development and we really want to be a church for the community and help people know Jesus,” said Joe. “For all ages to help build lives and be a safe place for worship while sprinkling in some fun activities. Even some chocolate chip cookies.”
“We are open for everyone,” Becca added. “It isn’t just a church limited to Chrisitans, we are open for everyone.”
Joe brings 30 years of ministry background with him as he began youth ministry at the age of 18. They currently have an office in the shared space next to Coates Guns.
“We don’t have set hours currently, as I am out getting to know people right now,” said Joe. “One of the things I love to do is visit businesses to meet bankers, lawyers, city hall and get to know people. There will be regular hours eventually and I will be available in the community and the set office hours will come a little later.”
The first official church service was held on Aug. 11 during the Old Settlers weekend. This upcoming Sunday, Aug. 18 at 10 a.m. has been set as the “Launch Sunday” where they invite everyone to join if interested.