From Science To Sermons

Broadway High Teacher Leaving For Full-Time Job At Church

Posted: June 14, 2014

Daily News-Record

The Rev. Jim Beachy (left) will be installed as pastor of Cornerstone Church of Broadway at 6:30 p.m. June 21. His wife, Pam, teaches four-year-old children at the church. (Courtesy Photo)

For the past two years, Darrell Zook has taught science in the classroom next to Jim Beachy’s at Broadway High School.


Beachy is stepping down from that role, but in about a week, he will become Zook’s pastor at Cornerstone Church of Broadway. In fact, the latter was on the team that asked Beachy to fill the role.  


“We hate to lose him at Broadway High School; he was an excellent teacher,” Zook said. “But I won’t lose him completely. He will go from being my colleague to my pastor, and I’m really excited about that.”


 For 17 years, Beachy, a 58-year-old Fulks Run resident, served as a pastor at three other churches in Pennsylvania before teaching for 19 years. For the last four of those years, he’s been working for Rockingham County Public Schools — the first two years at Spotswood High School and the last two at BHS.


Beachy, a 1978 graduate of Eastern Mennonite College, and his wife, Pam, spent about 30 years in Pennsylvania before moving back to the Valley. The couple has been attending Cornerstone Church of Broadway since they moved back four years ago.


The team that was created at Cornerstone to find a new pastor was seeking the right person for the job within the congregation. After the previous preacher resigned about a year ago, the committee found out about Beachy’s pastoral past.


“He told us that he really had a passion and a vision to be a pastor again,” Zook said. “We unanimously asked him if he would consider [being] our pastor.”


Beachy’s installation service will be at 6:30 p.m. June 21 at the church, located at 265 W. Springbrook Road in Broadway.


About Cornerstone
The congregation is hoping the change in pulpit will help the church further realize its goals of growing attendance and being a blessing to the community, Zook said.


“We want to get back to that original vision …  when the church really grew fast,” he explained.


The church was founded in the late 1980s and only spent about a year without its own building. The congregation grew quickly, said Zook, who has been attending the church almost since its inception, and was soon able to construct its current building.


Roughly 125 people attend the church’s sole Sunday service, Beachy estimated. He called the worship style “contemporary,” adding that the congregation, which has a very active youth ministry, reaches out to the community.


Once a month — usually on the third Sunday — the church invites the community in for its fellowship meal and sends local residents off with grocery bags full of food.


“We actually get to know the people,” Beachy said. “It’s not just somebody coming in and getting a bag of groceries. …  We consider them our friends.”


Cornerstone also started a branch of the ministry about three years ago called Stepping Stones Preschool and Daycare. Pam Beachy teaches four-year-old children there.


The church is independent of a denomination, but it’s part of the HeartLink Network of Cornerstone churches, which includes Cornerstone Church at the Lake in Harrisonburg and Cornerstone Church of Augusta in Staunton.


‘The People Connection’
Jim Beachy says he looks forward to “seeing how I can support and bless and encourage those ministries” that have already started at the Broadway church.


“The piece that I enjoy most [about being a pastor] is the people connection,” he added. “Just being able to work with people, sharing their lives, [getting] to know them, [being] an encouragement …  those are the key pieces, I guess, that keep bringing me back.”


Jim and Pam Beachy have five children and eight grandchildren. Their oldest son, Ben, lives in the area and works at his father’s alma mater, Nate lives in New York, Luke lives in Pennsylvania, Abbie lives in Philadelphia and Sarah is living at home for the summer but attends a Mennonite college in Kansas.


 For more information about the installation service, call the church at 908-4665.

Contact Candace Sipos at 574-6275 or csipos@dnronline.com