New pastor offering spiritual home by David Lias Cornerstone Church, a relatively new Assembly of God denominational place of worship located on East Highway 50 and Crawford Road in Vermillion, now has a new pastor.
Rev. Dave Tims delivered his first sermon at the church on Mother's Day. His family moved from Mitchell into the church's parsonage located at 1218 Valley View Drive on July 31.
Tims and his wife Jeanine are the parents of three sons: Josh, a sophomore at SDSU in Brookings; Paul, a junior at Vermillion High School; and Steven, a sixth-grader at Vermillion Middle School.
The newness may not yet have worn off of the Cornerstone Church building, constructed a little over a year ago. Members of the congregation have discovered that they can count on Tims to continue the church's traditional practices.
"We're a New Testament church," he said. "We have prayer for the sick, we have altar services, we have a prayer chain where you can call and have others pray for your needs, even if you don't attend the church, and we have open Communion on the first Sunday of every month."
The church is also helping to support 11 missionaries. "The Assembly of God is a strong mission church," Tims said.
It didn't take the Tims family long to feel at home in Vermillion.
"We're impressed with the schools," he said. "My wife is serving as a tutor in the middle school right now. I think over all, Vermillion is a very friendly community. We have been impressed by the friendliness and the reception that we have had since we came here."
Vermillion, he has discovered, also offers some unique challenges.
"I am challenged by the number of people who don't have a church home here, so we're going to try to do something to help that, in any way we can, to encourage people to get back to church and to have a spiritual home."
Tims also hopes to provide a "spiritual home away from home" for University of South Dakota students. "We want to start a senior high and college service on Thursday night."
Tims said he knows that some students schedule parties for Thursday night. "Before they go home to mom and dad on the weekends, they can sober up by Friday night when they see them again," he said. "We want to provide some live praise and worship for about 30 minutes on a Thursday night, and then a 10 minute challenge from a coach or another pastor or even a college or high school student who feels that they have something to say and feels like they want to challenge the other students spiritually."
The hour-long Thursday service is also an opportunity for young people to simply relax and receive some encouragement before getting back to their studies.
Tims, who grew up on a farm near Slayton, MN, is no stranger to youth ministry. After graduating from North Central Bible College in Minneapolis, MN, he served as youth and visitation pastor at First Assembly of God in Sioux Falls for almost four years.
In March 1979, Tims became the senior pastor of Calvary Assembly of God in Milbank, where he served for over 12 years. He accepted an appointment to serve as South Dakota State Assemblies of God youth and Christian education director in April 1991 and moved to Mitchell, where the district office is located.
For the last nine years, Tims has headed up youth camps, conventions, teen missions and promoted children's and youth ministry and Sunday School in the 50 Assembly of God churches in South Dakota.
"We've got a variety of things, we have a lot of praise and worship music, and I'm just a down home country boy from southern Minnesota," Tims said, "and I just want to be real with people about God's word.
"I want people to get excited about the Scriptures, and excited about praying for one another and caring for one another," he added, "and I just see a lot of potential in this community for people to grow spiritually. I see a lot of genuine hunger for the things of God, and I'm excited because people do respond to praise and worship that is relevant to our culture today."
Tims said he believes spiritual leaders need to change their methods without changing the message to be effective.
The Assembly of God is a pentecostal denomination with 50 churches in South Dakota.
The church's four cardinal doctrines are the second coming of Christ, salvation through the blood of Jesus, baptism in the Holy Spirit, and divine healing.
"We believe that God still heals through prayer," Tims said.