Transitions and A New Season

On Sunday, March 17, 2019 Brad Schrum announced that he, Amanda, and their family would be moving to Morgantown, West Virginia to serve as the preaching minister for the Morgantown Church of Christ, beginning in June. Brad will continue to minister and preach in St. Clairsville until the end of May.

The elders also announced that Keaton Forsythe has decided to begin a new full time job selling insurance in Pennsylvania—but he will continue to be a part of our church family and minister to our students as much as his new job will allow. He will continue to teach and help to lead various youth ministry activities. He will continue to work full time with the church until April 26th, after which he will transition to a volunteer role.

You can listen to Brad’s announcement, along with words from our shepherds below:

Brad’s Letter to the Congregation

Church family, 

We are about to enter a season of transition and change.

Amanda and I, and our family will be moving to Morgantown W.V. in the beginning of June, to serve as the preaching minister for the Morgantown Church of Christ. 

This was not in our plans, and this was not something we sought out. We had plans to be here and serve as your minister for another 30 years. But sometimes, even our best laid plans and intentions fail to capture God’s own plans for our lives. After a lot of prayer and fasting, long nights wrestling with God, and more than a few tears, we are convicted that this is God’s plan for our family and for the church family here.  At several points along the way, we have tried to ignore and run from this calling, but much like Jonah, we’ve learned that we cannot run from God’s calling on our lives, and when God calls us to step out in faith, he will remain faithful.

We have such deep love for you, for this church, and for this community. I grew up here, I have been blessed to minister as part of this church family for nearly twelve years, and have been privileged to open the Scriptures with you from this pulpit for almost six years. This is our home, and you are our family. 

This is not a decision we have made out of any discontent, discouragement or division. We are not unhappy, and there are no behind-the-scenes problems. We have simply sensed God’s calling to step out in faith into a new work. In m preaching here, I have repeatedly called us to walk in faith and obedience to the call of Jesus on our lives. It’s time for me to practice what I’ve been preaching.

The Calling to Morgantown

We are not going to Morgantown because they are a bigger or better church. Like most every church, they have struggles in our post-Christian cultural moment, but God has helped us to see that He has been uniquely preparing us for this ministry. They have a strong desire to embrace a missional vision of the church’s calling and potential to make an impact for the Kingdom of God in a region that desperately needs the gospel. The church is in close proximity to 30,000 WVU students, many of whom are hungry to start following after Jesus. From my time at Ohio State, God has stirred in my heart a passion to see young adults follow Jesus. The congregation itself is incredibly diverse, both in demographics, age, experience, and education. About half of the church was not raised in Churches of Christ, and my own experience growing up outside of the church gives me a unique ability to minister to them.

Not only is this a good fit for my work in ministry, it also represents an incredible opportunity for Amanda. Her calling as a nurse is a significant part of our lives, and in Morgantown she will be able to work at one of the best hospitals in the region. More importantly, Amanda will be afforded the ability to devote much more time to staying home, mothering Isabelle and Eliana.

The Future for St. Clairsville

I am convinced that not only is this the right decision for our family, but it is the right decision for the church family here in St. Clairsville. As a church, we are in a pivotal moment in our life together. God has been so good to this church over the years. From our beginnings in a fairground building in 1948 to the construction of this building almost 70 years later, God has blessed this church immensely and has always been faithful. God has a plan for you, and I believe we are poised for a new season of growth, if we will walk in faith and faithfulness.

When I began my pulpit ministry, we were in a time of deep hurt, loss, and confusion, but by God’s grace we were able to stick together, heal together, and grow together. We appointed new deacons, hired a youth minister, and started new community involvement initiatives like Trunk-or-Treat. We began, and then completed, the building project. Most significantly, we selected two great and godly men as shepherds to help lead us.

We have been through a lot together. There have been growing pains along the way, but I have been encouraged to see our elders and deacons joining together to work for God’s future for this church. And so now— with a sense of healing from past hurts, a new building, a solid eldership, and the deacons unified and working together, the foundation is set for God to call a new minister to serve this church family, and to help us grow into the future. I’m convinced that God is already preparing your new minster, to lead and serve with you into a new season of growth. 

A Deep Gratitude

This decision to leave has been the hardest decision we have ever made together as a family. We love you deeply, and this church will always be “home” for us. 

We are so deeply appreciative of the way you have loved us over the years. I would not be the man, the husband and father, and I certainly wouldn’t be the minister I am today were it not for you. You saw a calling in me as a teenager that I didn’t see in myself.  You had faith in me as I stepped into the pulpit in a difficult time, and you were patient with me as I learned what it meant to be a minister. You were there when Amanda and I started dating, when we became husband and wife, and you were there each step of the way as our family grew. Our family has been forever blessed by your love for us. I can only hope that my ministry has been half the blessing to you over these last twelve years as you have been to me. 


The next few months of  transition will be challenging for you and for our own family. But I am convinced that when we walk in faith, God is always faithful. He has been faithful in past, and he will be faithful in the future. I firmly believe the best days of the St. Clairsville Church of Christ are not in the past, but they lay ahead, as we follow after God’s plan together.

In this season of transition, it is crucial that we work to stay unified, keep working together with our leaders, and keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. Ultimately, Jesus is what this is all about. It has never been about the man who stands in this pulpit, but about the power of the gospel of Jesus.

We love you deeply,

In Christ,

Brad, Amanda & family

Words from the Shepherds

Our hearts our heavy that Brad and Amanda will be leaving us, but as we look into God’s Word, we see that when men’s hearts are right, God moves people to do His will and His work. Brad’s heart is right, and so is Amanda’s. God will use them in great ways in Morgantown. Even though we hate to see them go, God has plans for them, as he does for us.

As your shepherds, we want to ask that you keep your focus on Jesus, and keep our unity as we go this next phase and this next step as a church. We do not want to lose a single soul in this process. From Wally and Kelly, all the way around the building to Steve and Nelva, we don’t want to lose anyone. 

It is important that we pray for Brad and Amanda, that their work in Morgantown will be fruitful, and it is important that we pray for each other, and that we pray for our next minister.

We are beginning the search process for our next minister immediately. We will be talking with you about that more soon. Your prayers and your input will be very important in this process.

As your shepherds, we also want to let you know that Keaton will continue to worship with us and continue to work with our youth, but he has taken another full time job selling insurance in Pennsylvania. His last full-time day with us will be April 26th. He will continue to worship with us, teach our youth, and help to lead in activities as his work schedule allows. He will continue to be available to minister to the students, but he is broadening his experiences and stepping into a new chapter in his life. Keep him in your prayers as well.

We ask that keep all of this in your prayers, that you keep your focus on Jesus, that you work to keep our unity, and that you encourage each other as we continue to seek God’s will together.

Thank you,

The Shepherds

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