Teacher starts Plain City church


Shawn Kaeser and his wife, Tracey, are starting Grace Brethren Church in Plain City. The family, which includes Aaron, 10, Rachel, 8, and Joshua, 5, moved to the village last summer.

In the Bible’s New Testament, the apostle Paul makes tents and starts churches.

Shawn Kaeser doesn’t make tents but he is starting a church while holding down another job. The junior high social studies teacher and his wife, Tracey, moved to Plain City last summer to plant the seed for Darby Grace Brethren Church.

With the backing of their mother church, Southwest Grace Brethren in Grove City, the Kaesers are starting small. For the last month, five families have been meeting in their Plain City home on Wednesdays for Bible study. A group of stay-at-home mothers meet on Mondays for prayer. The next step is to find a bigger place.

“We are quickly outgrowing my home and now have begun to look for a location for Sunday services,” said Kaeser, who is pursuing a few leads that include school buildings.

Kaeser teaches American history at Grizzell Middle School in Dublin. He plans to continue to teach until Darby Grace Brethren can support a full-time pastor. The church’s long-term goal is to buy land and build a house of worship, though Kaeser emphasizes that “a church is people, not a building.”

For many years, Kaeser has served as a volunteer pastor. He decided to further pursue that interest in 2003 when he entered Grace Theology Seminary in Indiana. He graduated in 2005. Shortly thereafter, he and his wife began looking into a move to Plain City.

“My wife and I both felt a call to come to Plain City, and the people at Southwest Grace were interested in planting a church there. We got the green light a month ago,” he said.

The village’s growth and proximity to his teaching job were among the features that attracted Kaeser to Plain City—that and fond childhood memories.

“It’s just a nice place. I’m from Springfield originally, and growing up, I remember going to Plain City to eat at the Der Dutchman,” he said.

Kaeser said his 13 years as a junior high teacher are good preparation for a job as church pastor.

“If you can handle junior high kids and the problems they have, you can handle anything,” he said. “Adults are not much different than junior high kids. They just hide their questions and pain a little more.”

Kaeser is interested in helping families “transform into the families they want to be and God wants them to be.”

The Kaesers have three children—Aaron, 10, and Rachel, 8, who are enrolled in Jonathan Alder Local Schools, and Joshua, 5, who will enter kindergarten in the fall.

For more information about Darby Grace Brethren Church, go to www.darbygrace.org or contact Shawn Kaeser at 937-935-1791, shawn@darbygrace.org, or P.O. Box 92, Plain City, Ohio 43064.


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