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Pastor marks 30 years at Southeast

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By Zach Osowski

Even after 30 years of preaching with the same church Pastor Greg Allen still comes in every day excited and ready to work. At the rate Southeast Christian church is growing, especially on Allen’s Crestwood campus, his workload is likely to increase but he said he’s ok with that.

“It’s a good problem to have,” he said of the growth.

Born and raised in the Crestwood and Louisville areas, Allen said familiarity and locale have been keys to helping him. Being with the same church and working with the same people for 30 years has been a blessing, Allen said.

“One of the biggest joys is the longevity of relationships,” Allen said. “Over the long haul people come to know you, trust you and confide in you. Being in one place a long time is really an honor.”

Allen, who has been married 29 years, said people in his congregation come to him all the time with marriage and parenting questions. He said they ask because they are so comfortable with him. He said it is special to be able to help a couple through the first years of marriage and then still be there for them when they have other questions about children or other issues.

While he has been with Southeast Christian for 30 years, Allen has only been at the Crestwood campus for six months. He said coming back to the town where he grew up was like a jolt to his system.

“Being here as the campus pastor was like this huge B12 shot in my arm,” Allen said. “I feel like I know everyone here.”

Allen also credits his staff and the elders of the church for making his job worthwhile.

“The elders of our church are just so fun and easy to work with,” he said. “They set a direction and they let me lead.”

Since opening almost three years ago, the Crestwood campus has grown by leaps and bounds. Recently, the church added a second Saturday night service which puts them at five services per weekend. Allen said they typically see 3,000 people on a weekend.

“We’re still kind of the new thing in town and we get people who are willing to take a chance,” Allen said. “They’re coming in here with all their baggage and they’re finding some joy and they’re finding some peace.”

Allen credits God for allowing their church to continue to grow while still being able to serve the needs of everyone.

“Why God chose this church to be a big church, we don’t know. But I think part of it is the humility of the leaders,” Allen said.

By spreading out the congregation over five services, Allen said all the services still feel intimate, which he said is important, despite the added load for his staff.

“We walk in every Monday morning tired, but its a good tired,” he said. “We’ve got our extra tall coffees but we’re all smiling.”

In addition to tacking on the extra service, the church has also converted two smaller buildings into classrooms for teenagers because they outgrew the main building.

Southeast Christian Crestwood meets at 5:15 and 6:45 p.m. on Saturdays and on Sundays at 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and noon.

For more information call Southeast Christian’s Crestwood campus at 502-873-1100 or visit them at www.southeastchristian.org

 

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