Pastor Kevin Bonifacius and his wife, Connie, arrived in Brownstown in January to minister to First Christian Church.
A warm and friendly couple, they are settling into the community and their church, and looking around to see how they can help the community, as well as spread the word about God’s love. Meet the Rev. Kevin and Connie Bonifacius, the “new kids on the block.”
Began Ministering to the Church Early
A member of Bonifacius’ new church family was heard saying that Pastor Kevin was visiting members of his new church family in the hospital before he had been here a week. Other members of the congregation have been heard commenting in restaurants and stores on his good works already being felt in the community.
Pastor Kevin has already joined the reverends – Olen Evans of First Baptist Church, Jim Dann of Liberty Christian Church and Don Thomas of United Methodist Church – in forming a Ministerial Alliance in the Brownstown-Sefton area. They are planning to provide help and aid where needed in the community.
“We were living in Christopher before coming here,” Pastor Kevin said.
The couple has two sons. Clay lives in Murphysboro with his wife, Lauren. He is a writer and she is an artist. Cole lives in Petersburg, with his wife, Hannah. Cole is the associate pastor at the Church of Christ in Petersburg and his wife teaches English to non-English-speaking people.
“We also raised one of our nieces, and she lives in Mt. Vernon and is a 911 dispatcher,” Connie said.
In the Beginning
His family went to church regularly, and Kevin said he went forward to accept Christ when he was 11 years old. He shared his calling to the ministry.
“I worked for my dad for a number of years in the family business,” he said.
“But it really wasn’t where I thought I needed to be. Around 1990, when I was 32, Lynn Laghlin from Lincoln Christian College came to talk to us about possibility of us moving to Lincoln and attending the college. That is what we did.
“We moved to Lincoln in 1990 and I began attending college. Connie got a job in town and we lived in married student housing. Six months after being there, I took my first ministry, a little church called Texas Christian Church, outside Clinton. I was a non-traditional student, but I graduated in 1995. ”
Now he feels like he is where he ought to be, serving the Lord.
“Nothing in life is easy,” he said, “But it has been good, I think, for the whole family.
“For the boys, for the most part, there have been some rough areas, but I think it has taught them to adjust pretty well.”
The Preacher’s Wife
Connie seems to be the ideal preacher’s wife. She loves children and teaches Sunday school. She also cares for a young 3-year-old child in her home and would welcome more to care for in her home.
She is a qualified day-care worker and has much experience on-site, “but I would just really rather care for them in my home,” she said.
There are a lot of good people here (at First Christian Church), and they are go-getters, too, the young and old alike,” Pastor Kevin said of his church family.
“We have the plans laid, and we are looking forward to going forward now. We had a congregational meeting a few weeks back where we just threw out some ideas and suggestions,” he said.
“We are looking at ways we can get across to the community and surrounding area, and we will be doing that before too long. We are going to begin a Welcome Wagon-type thing for folks who are new to the community, to introduce ourselves. For visitors who come to church, we will give visitors’ packets.
“(We’ve learned that) this little town has a city-wide yard sale in June. I think we will have a ‘No Sale Yard Sale’ with clothing and anything else, just to be able to help people out,” he said.
A favorite scripture of the Bonifacios family is Matthew 25:36 – “I needed clothes and you clothed me.”
They will minister with compassion, willingness and in the Lord’s love.