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Restoration Ministries welcomes new clergy team

By Sue Sitter - | Oct 10, 2020

Restoration Ministries welcomed two new pastors to the Rugby church last month, and the husband-and-wife team says they’re “really enjoying it here.”

Tony and Lisa Coffman moved to their new church home from Nebraska. Although Tony is a native of Oregon, Lisa grew up near Valley City. Both lived most recently in St. Paul, Neb., a small town outside of Grand Island.

“St. Paul was a small rural town very much the same size and same makeup as Rugby,” Tony Coffman said.

“We got into town the last Saturday night of August and I was at the church that Sunday morning. So, I’ve been here four Sundays now,” Coffman added.

Coffman said congregation members from Restoration Ministries “reached out to me and said they’d been without a pastor for a couple of years. We were transitioning in St. Paul into a new role from senior pastors to serving as associate pastors in a different church. COVID had closed ours.”

“We came up and visited the weekend of July 4 and fell in love with Rugby,” Coffman added.

“I like the people,” Coffman said of Rugby. “I like the size. Small, rural America just has a different feel and flavor to it. People tend to be a little closer, a little closer-knit. They have to struggle with each other to get by.”

“I like the quietness of Rugby,” Coffman added. “Although we’ve only been here four weeks, we’ve seen super-nice people, a nice, clean town. The area pastors are nice, just everything about Rugby has been a pleasure.”

The Coffmans currently live in Bottineau, where their oldest son, Adam, attends school at the Bottineau college. Daughter Juliana attends college in Nebraska.

“We have 15 members right now,” Coffman said of the church on Highway 3 South, just outside of the Rugby city limits. “It’s very small. Coffman said church membership “has been up around 60 or 70 people before.”

“Of course,” he added, “when you go that long without a shepherd, it’s hard on people. I understand that. But it’s a fantastic core group that’s kept going and kept up.”

The church has maintained a regular worship schedule through the years with and without pastors.

“We start an adult Bible study at 9:15 Sunday mornings. Our worship service starts at 10:30 Sunday morning, and we have on Wednesday nights a prayer-through worship service at 6:30,” Coffman said.

The prayer-through-worship services are “a different idea on prayer,” he said. “It’s worship and prayer as prayer is needed through it. So, it’s prayer and worship. It’s not a real formal kind of sit down, bow your head type of service.”

“Anytime you look at the Old Testament, when a group was together, prayer typically included worship. And you’ll see that in a lot of the New Testament as well. It’s just lighter (than a regular worship service),” Coffman noted.

“I’ve heard a saying before that the quickest way to clear out a worship service is to announce a prayer meeting,” Coffman added, smiling. “Prayer is hard work. It’s truth. It’s one of the smallest gatherings in any church. This allows people to get together and worship and pray in at worship and it’s a very effective way to do both.”

Coffman said services at Restoration Ministries are “open to anybody and everybody.”

“You don’t have to be a member,” he added. “You don’t have to agree with everything we agree with. Anybody who wants to come, if the doors are open, come. If there are questions about the church, call or email me.”

“The church phone number is 776-2882,” Coffman said. “If someone leaves a voice mail, I’ll get that message wherever I’m at and call right back. My email is tony@rmchurchnd.org.”

Coffman paused and added with a smile, “We’re just super thrilled to be in Rugby.”

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