Pastors Jerry Duvall and Mark Welch were ordained to the gospel ministry on Sabbath, June 11 during a special service at the 2016 Iowa-Missouri camp meeting.

“These men have demonstrated God’s grace and the proof of His calling into the gospel ministry, through faithful service, servant leadership, evangelism, and preaching the gospel,” said Robert Wagley, ministerial director for the conference. “We thank God for their calling into the ordained ministry of the Word and are most grateful for God’s faithfulness and grace in their lives.”

Ordained pastors from around the conference laid hands on pastors Duvall and Welch as conference secretary Robert Peck prayed over them. Also present were Wagley, conference president Dean Coridan, Mid-America Union ministerial director Mic Thurber, and Andrews University professor of theology Dr. Richard Davidson.

In his message, Dr. Davidson described the experience of Joshua as the first person in the Bible to receive the laying on of hands (see Numb. 27, Deut. 34). “The hands can be laid today, but God’s secret of success is what you do from here on out,” Davidson said. Then, reading from Joshua 1, he shared God’s formula to a successful pastoral ministry:

  • Undaunted courage, as a result of…
  • Unwavering confidence in God’s promises, which results in…
  • Unreserved commitment to His will, which can be known through…
  • Uninterrupted communion with God in meditation of His word

Pastor Duvall, who currently serves in the Knoxville/Marshalltown/Newton district, was raised in a Southern Baptist home and joined the Army in 1982 as a drafting specialist/construction supervisor. He was later accepted into the intelligence community as a Counterintelligence Agent.

While in the Army he attended the University of Maryland and Kansas State University, earning an Associate’s degree in Computers and a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology and Criminal Justice.

Duvall never considered becoming a pastor until one day God impressed him to pursue that course. He sold his tire and automotive business and within two months had begun working in the ministry. “When God asks you to do something, He not only provides a way for you to do it, but surrounds you with Godly people,” he said, giving credit to those who supported him along the way and thanking those who were instrumental in his development as a pastor.

Jerry and his wife, Jennifer, met in Weimar, California, in 2008 while learning how to better share God’s Word and serve His people. Jen provides vital support for Jerry and serves alongside him in many areas.

Pastor Welch, who currently serves in the Hannibal/Moberly district, was born in Mountain View, Missouri. During his childhood, he and his family spent seven years serving as missionaries in Taiwan.

He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and then earned a Doctor of Law degree from the University of Nebraska, College of Law in 1995. Welch worked in the insurance industry in Marketing, Legal and Underwriting before accepting the call to fulltime pastoral ministry in June 2012.

Before that time, Welch had been serving in a volunteer capacity at the New Horizons church plant in Springfield, Missouri and had initially turned down an offer to enter fulltime ministry. “It’s just amazing that the God of the universe calls people like me to serve Him in this way,” said Welch, jokingly adding, “Especially someone who said ‘No.’”

Mark and his wife, Karie, met at Union College and were married in July 1993. Karie taught at Midland Adventist Academy in Shawnee, Kansas until the arrival of their first child, Spencer, who was joined later by Graham, Sheldon and Gracelyn.

Watch the ordination service and other camp meeting services