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Beaver Bay Community Church  | Pastor John and Holly Szurpicki

Nestled on the scenic North Shore of Lake Superior lies Beaver Bay, a small community where John Szurkpicki is the pastor of Beaver Bay Church.

John and his wife, Holly, have been in ministry since the day they met. They started attending Crossroads Church in Bemidji and got involved with the youth group. Within the first six months of serving, the youth pastor was in the process of leaving, and the kids in the youth group unanimously voted John in as their new youth pastor. He and his family prayed and felt this was exactly what God wanted for them, and the youth group grew. However, John and Holly felt there was more that God had in store for them, which eventually led to pastoring a church.

In 2016, John received his credentials with the Assemblies of God. He started working with a faith-based chemical dependency program, homeless shelters, and a jail ministry, serving as the pastor. Eventually, they felt led to move to a place they loved, the North Shore.

John shared a story: “While vacationing in Beaver Bay, my wife and I both felt led to go to church, and we found Beaver Bay Church. There were about seven or eight elderly people at this church, and we went in, and we just did what we always do – we loved up on everybody, praying for people. As soon as we got in the car, I made the statement, ‘Hey kids, can you imagine what would happen if God turned us loose on this church?’ I knew I was in trouble the second those words left my mouth.”

A couple of years later, John received a call from Mark Dean, asking if John and his family would be willing to pastor a church up north. That church was Beaver Bay, and John knew it was a sign from God. When the family returned to visit, a gentleman was mowing the lawn at the church. He asked John if he remembered him. John did, and the next thing this man said would confirm the plan to move forward. The gentleman took out a notebook, flipped through the pages back to August of 2016 when John and his family had visited, and at the top of the page was written, “Dear God, please send back John from Bemidji to help us with our church.”

Most notably, John and his family have brought a mission-minded approach to the church, supporting missionaries monthly. “Every missionary that has come to our church, we sent them out the door with a $1,000 check,” John shared. “And we have added all of them to our monthly support. Our little church of Beaver Bay is now supporting 25 missionaries monthly.