Koelbls find just what they’re looking for here in Cut Bank
A small community, well, sometimes it is the perfect fit. That is exactly what Pastor Ted Koelbl and his wife Bernice are thinking about their new life in Cut Bank, it is going to be the perfect fit.
Pastor Ted is the new pastor at Cut Bank Community Bible Church. He and his wife, Bernice, arrived in a town a couple weeks ago, moving here from Forest Grove, Ore., where they have lived for the past 24 years.
Pastor Ted graduated seminary school just over 10 years ago, discovering a little later in his life the vocation he knew he had been called to do. Before that, he spent over 40 years working in two different production machinery jobs and those came after he served his country in the United States Marines for a six-year enlistment.
When his brother passed away in 1999, Pastor Ted knew there was something else he needed to do with his life.
“It was a time when I knew what the Lord had been teaching me, others needed to know. I thought people needed to know the goodness of the Lord, so I went to seminary school, Multnomah University Biblical Seminary School, in Portland. It took me eight years to finish because I was still working full time, but I did it, graduating in 2008,” he said.
With school behind him, it was time to start looking at a place where he could start his ministry. “My brother-in-law in Canada suggested I look at churches in Montana,” he said. “I did and then discovered this wonderful group of people here at the Community Bible Church in Cut Bank.”
He went through the interview process and was selected to be that church’s new pastor.
“I had been thinking perhaps the Lord could use me in a small church to do His ministry. We wanted a smaller church and a smaller community to live in and we have found that and more here in Cut Bank,” Pastor Ted said.
Pastor Ted moved around a bit as a child, living in California and then Oregon, but his parents are from eastern Montana, so being here surrounded by the plains of northern Montana, “feels like home,” he shared. “I love places like this.”
He and his wife Bernice have been married since 1981. They have grown children, Katie, who is 35 and lives in Grand Rapids, Mich.; Eric at 33 years of age lives in Charlotte, N.C.; Karen is 30 and she lives in Hillsboro, Ore.; and their youngest, Esther, 25, also lives in Hillsboro. Their son, Willis, passed away at the young age of 27. They also have seven grandchildren.
Bernice is a retired school teacher, having retired from that line of work the same time her husband did from his production machinery job, this past spring.
“I might think about substitute teaching at some point, but not right yet,” Bernice said.
For now, they are finishing up closing on their home in Oregon, getting settled into their new home in Cut Bank and are so very excited to get to know the people that make up this town.
“This has been a very warm and welcoming community,” Pastor Ted said. “And the people of this church are gracious believers. Everyone in the church and in this community is so nice.”
“These people are grounded, hardworking and very accepting. We are very happy to be here,” Bernice added.
It is a perfect fit for the Koelbls and for Cut Bank.