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New Life Church – Pastor Chuck & Julie Pruett | River of Life Church – Pastor Denny & Cheryl Curran

The Minnesota District is blessed by the unwavering dedication and spiritual leadership of our Lead Pastors. They guide moments of joy and hardship, continuously embodying the love and wisdom of faith. As we celebrate the remarkable ministries of two giants of the faith from the Central Section who are now retiring from their pastoral positions, it is only fitting to honor their incredible contributions.

In 1997, Pastor Chuck Pruett moved to Princeton after serving for ten years as the children’s pastor at Brainerd AG. As Pastor, God told Chuck that the key to reaching Princeton AG (now New Life Church) was to reach its kids, but the church had only 26 people and a small budget. Pastor Chuck and Karol took on multiple roles. “We embraced change to reach the next generation. Methods must change, but the Message never will.”

New Life Church grew across all demographics by focusing on young families, eventually planting New Life in Foley. Amid growth, Chuck faced tragedy when his wife, Karol, died of cancer in 2010. The church grieved, embracing the phrase, “God is good, all the time; and all the time, God is good.” Now, New Life averages over 1,300 attendees weekly.

Chuck and his wife of 12 years, Julie, have honored their commitment to New Life, concluding a five-year transition plan with their youth pastor, Corey, and Katie Kalinowski.

Reflecting on their journey, Chuck said, “We never could have dreamed what God was going to do with a little church in a cornfield! To God be the glory.”

Pastor Denny Curran began his relationship with the Lord after his teenage years of chasing trouble. He had a radical encounter with God and promised to serve Him, which created a legacy with an impact rippling through generations.

After marrying his wife, Cheryl, in 1976, they embarked on their journey in ministry. Denny served faithfully in Paynesville for 18 years and couldn’t contain the dreams the Lord placed on his heart for the future. After facing early opposition from the surrounding community, Denny and his family planted River of Life Church in Cold Spring, MN, in 1994. Their first week, they had six people. Early on, when asked about the church plant, Denny would say they were “packing out the room.” It was a hotel room, which didn’t make it very difficult. Due to struggles finding land or a building to purchase, River of Life was portable for their first eight years before moving into their first building. River of Life now averages 900 attendees per week. Praise God!

During his ministry, Denny has helped start several churches in rural MN and is regularly consulted by others on the “how-tos” of church planting. For three decades, the Currans have invested their lives in the people of Cold Spring and, with excitement, pass the baton to Pastor Kirby and Desiree St. John.