Switzer new pastor in Midland
Pastor Walter Switzer’s first official Sunday sermon as the new pastor at Midland Open Bible Church was March 27, Easter Sunday.
Switzer is not new to the pastoring field, and his family is not new to western South Dakota.
His father was a member of the United States Air Force when Switzer was born in Arizona. His family then called many locations home, including a stint in Germany. Switzer graduated high school in Grand Forks, N.D. While living in Castle Rock, Colo., for his start in college, he began an internship with a youth pastor. He started taking Christian Ministries and Leadership training. When the youth pastor advanced, Switzer took over that position.
Fifteen years ago, he began his official associate internship for Open Bible licensing of pastors in Spearfish. He has been in Spearfish until now.
He met and married Darcey Roberts, from north of Belle Fourche. “It was fun to see how God put us together. It was like we knew it was to be. It gets better all the time,” said Switzer. They are now raising four children, Caleb (12), Seth (9), Abigail (7) and Zoey (4).
Youth are one of the pastor’s strengths. “I’ve done youth ministry forever. I really love teenagers. It’s been fun to minister to them in many different scenarios,” said Switzer.
Last December, they had an opportunity to fill in the pulpit at the Midland church. “We felt God was starting something new in our hearts. We started praying over what God wanted us to do. Realizing the connection already with the people and the church, we started applying for being their pastor,” said Switzer. “Once we started the process, we got to fill the pulpit for most of February. We are excited for what God has for Midland and the surrounding area.”
She is the worship leader, playing the piano and leading vocally, mostly hymns. They are also working on establishing a childrens’ ministry. “And Darcey is working with me hand-in-hand as we start that up,” said Switzer.
“One of the things I have been blessed with is I am a story teller,” said Switzer. “I have been told that I can articulate the Word and make it come to life.”
Switzer emphasizes prayer time, with prayers concerning people and situations. The church dedicates a time for people to give requests and praises, and praying for them right then.
Fitting in with the Midland community should be no problem. “I am a connoisseur of coffee,” admitted Switzer, saying that he even dabbles in a little home roasting of coffee, as time allows.
“I love spending time with my wife and kids,” said Switzer. “We love the outdoors, right now enjoying the city park. We love hiking, fishing, snow shoeing, and generally spending time together. When we are indoors, we love to play games, digital and board games, of all kinds.” Currently the family is finishing out the year with their already started home schooling, though are exploring the option of the Midland Elementary School for next school year.
“I consider us as really open. You can see who we are. We encourage people to get to know us,” said Switzer.