FULTON, Ill. — Blake Severson may not be considered the “typical” minister.
This 32-year-old enjoys Christian metal, hip hop and “The Walking Dead.” An avid member of the Crossfit gym and a Strongman competition participant, Blake is used to hearing that he does not look like a pastor.
“I think it’s good that we’re showing people that you don’t have to be a certain thing to be an admitted Christian,” said Blake, Fulton Presbyterian Church’s new minister. “You can have different hobbies. You can like different things.”
Growing up in Wisconsin, Blake attended Christian summer camp each year. He was given some opportunities to lead, which put him on his path to ministry.
“I wanted to go one way and God wanted me to go another. So one summer, we kind of had it out,” Blake said. “I like to say it took an extension ladder to the head to get me to go to seminary”
While working as a house painter, a his crew member dropped a ladder on him, giving him a concussion. Unable to work on ladders, he lost his job. This time eventually led him to seminary in Dubuque.
This is a decision he does not regret. Blake loves preaching, see how God works through scripture. He also has a passion for mission work, as he’s planning a trip to Haiti early next year.
After graduating from seminary, he spent more than four years as a youth pastor in Wisconsin, before moving to upstate New York to serve as head minister. Living in New York, he realized he missed the Midwest.
When the opening at Fulton Presbyterian became available, he was happy to take the post.
After only four weeks at the church, Blake is settling in. He said his congregation is a wonderful group of people, with a strong sense of community. He hopes to inspire people through the spirit and encourage their passions to reveal what God wants for them.
Blake is also settling into the area. He visited Clinton once while in seminary. He is happy the area has so many amenities within a short drive, including a local Crossfit gym.
“Clinton has everything that you could need in it. Fulton is a really nice small town,” Blake said.