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United Protestant Church Bids Farewell to Pastor Russell, Welcomes New Pastor Feb. 2

David Russell served as the senior pastor for 10 years. Steven Bullmer will become the interim senior pastor Feb. 2.

Rev. Steven Bullmer has been named interim senior pastor at United Protestant Church of Grayslake, starting Feb. 2. Submitted by: UPC
Rev. Steven Bullmer has been named interim senior pastor at United Protestant Church of Grayslake, starting Feb. 2. Submitted by: UPC
On Jan. 12, the United Protestant Church (UPC) of Grayslake held a farewell service for Pastor David Russell, who retired after serving the church for nearly 10 years as senior pastor. 

Rev. Jonathan Knight, associate conference minister for the United Church of Christ Fox Valley Association, led two worship services that included a litany of farewell to honor Pastor Russell. Scouts from the church’s Boy Scout Troop 451 came forward to thank Rev. Russell, an Eagle Scout who served as the church’s liaison with the troop. A potluck luncheon was held after services, serving as an informal time to thank Pastor Russell for his leadership and service. 

On Feb. 2, Rev. Dr. Steven Bullmer of Crystal Lake will begin working at UPC as interim senior pastor. He retired in July 2013 as senior pastor at the First United Methodist Church in Crystal Lake, where he had served since 2008. Rev. Bullmer previously served other Methodist churches in northern Illinois, including those in Marengo, Polo, Freeport, Plainfield, St. Charles and Rochelle. He earned a Master of Divinity from the Iliff School of Theology in Denver, Colo. and a Doctor of Ministry from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Evanston.

Bullmer’s wife, Sharon is a retired Methodist minister as well. He has three daughters and four grandsons. For 38 years, Rev. Bullmer served churches in the Northern Illinois Conference. 

In a letter of self-introduction to church members, Bullmer wrote that “I love to preach; but I love even more the people I preach to. My sermons are biblical, practical, and personal. My goal for every sermon is that it equips you with a faith that works in real life. I love to teach; especially Bible studies. I love it when ‘the lights come on’ and suddenly you connect a biblical truth to your life situation. I teach for transformation, not just information.”

The United Protestant Church of Grayslake is affiliated with the United Church of Christ Fox Valley Association and the United Methodist Church Northern Illinois Conference. Worship services are held at 5 p.m. on Saturdays and at 8:15 and 10:30 a.m. on Sundays, with Christian education for all ages at9:30 a.m. Sundays. The associate pastor is Rev. Merlyn Lawrence. For more information, call (847) 223-8131. The church is located in historic downtown Grayslake, at 54 S. Whitney St.

—Submitted by the United Protestant Church of Grayslake.

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