COKATO, MN Once known as Crossroads Community Church, Grace Hill Church in Cokato is in the process of undergoing some changes and not only the name change.
Pastor John Thorson, 26, was appointed as pastor in June after former interim pastor stepped down following nearly three years of leadership.
Thorson had been an associate pastor at the church for the past three years, following his family’s move to Cokato.
He and his wife are both graduates of Dassel-Cokato High School. Both pursued a higher education in the Twin Cities at North Central University in Minneapolis.
Thorson graduated with a degree in Bible theology and pastoral ministries.
After a period living in Hopkins, the couple decided to return to their hometown, where they joined the fellowship of Crossroads Community Church.
“It’s coming home . . . so it’s a different kind of moving. A nice kind of moving,” Thorson said.
However, his time as a pastor was not his first time in ministry. “We were running our own little ministry stuff out of school and running young adult ministries . . . I’ve been doing ministry since high school,” Thorson noted.
When asked what he liked to do in his free time, he laughed, and quipped that he had almost four kids (three daughters, and a son due in September), and as a result, has no free time. “I spend time with my family. That’s what I do. And, I read.”
Thorson said the thing he’s most looking forward to about being pastor is “Equipping other people to lead.”
Why change the name?
The reason for the name change comes from an equally important change in direction. Things had been changing in the church for a while new vision, new members before they decided to initiate a name change, too.
“The church has gone through . . . just a lot of transformation the last three years, and a lot of it is just wanting a name that is consistent with just who we are and our vision and identity as a church,” Thorson said.
He also said that while the name Crossroads had been a good name, it simply did not hold the same meaning to the church as it once had.
“For the last six months we’ve been praying and looking, trying to find a church name, and we really felt that God told us Grace Hill,” Thorson said.
“God is calling us to rest, grow, and live. God is calling us to rest in the promises of the Gospel, calling us to grow in a relationship with God and people, and calling us to live as passionate disciples on mission with Jesus,” Thorson said, describing the vision for the church.
According to Thorson, the changes weren’t going to affect who the congregation is as a whole merely to focus in more on some important aspects, and fully define their vision.
To learn more about Pastor John Thorson and Grace Hill Church, follow the featured link at www.dasselcokato.com.