- Special Sections
- Public Notices
Bob Silvanik is anxious to learn more about Dry Ridge, especially the people in his new congregation at Dry Ridge Christian Church.
Silvanik, the former minister at North Middletown Christian Church in Bourbon County, began his duties on Oct. 1.
In order to get to know the community better, he’s been attending community functions such as the monthly Grant County Chamber of Commerce breakfast meeting.
He describes himself as a “late-bloomer” when it comes to church.
“I was unchurched until I was in my 30s and because of my life experiences and situation, I needed something or someone to save me from myself and it turned out to be Jesus Christ,” Silvanik said.
“My path is like a Damascus Road experience,” he said. “It was a fairly dramatic conversion experience and I’m still working to understand it.”
He is a graduate of the University of Kentucky with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in political science. Before feeling the call to the ministry, he had a career in politics and government.
“It was a life not unlike others and I did well, but it was killing me and I was spiritually bankrupt,” Silvbanik said.
Silvanik graduated from the Lexington Theological Seminary and spent the next three and a half years in Bourbon County.
He readily admits that he’s a work in progress and because he didn’t “grow up” in church, he’s still learning the words to the traditional hymns and scripture, but his approach to his ministry and his life is simple.
“Definitely the gospels and the life and ministry of Jesus Christ are my guiding stars,” Silvanik said. “How I conduct myself daily and how I operate the church must be based on Jesus as a role model.”
Silvanik said he believes strongly in missions and outreach because that, too, was an example of Jesus.
“He was always sending his disciples and I believe that we all have a daily ministry that’s right in front of us. Jesus has a mission for each of us,” he said.
Silvanik said the church should be known for its unconditional love.
“Who did Jesus go to? It was the lepers and prostitutes” he said. “Sometimes we are so focused on the secular notions of church that we don’t see the people who are hurting and needs God’s love.”
He is a member of the Christian Peacemaker Teams, who are committed to non-violent ways of standing in the way of violence. For example, he has traveled to Israel and Palestine and stood with the Peacemakers in between Muslims and Jews.
“We just stood there and because they didn’t want to harm American Christians, there was no violence while we were standing there,” Silvanik said.
Slivanic will continue to reside in Lexington, but has rented an apartment in Dry Ridge and will be in the community on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.
He is married and has two children, a 24-year old son who is finishing his journalism degree at Ohio State and a daughter who is a senior at Asbury College, who is studying sports management.
In his spare time, he is the head baseball coach at Asbury College.
“I think I get the best of three worlds because I preach, teach and coach and in many ways they are similar,” he said.
He wants to renew his congregation’s commitment to serving the community and bringing others to Christ.
“Worship needs to be energetic and enthusiastic, but reverent and sacred all rolled into one and I just want our church to play its part in God’s vision for the world,” he said.