New K-Springs pastor climbs next mountain

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 5, 2008

By SHELBA NIVENS / For the Reporter

K-Springs Church of God’s new interim pastor Clarence Phairas wants to see senior adults re-fire instead of retire.

“Senior citizens presently makeup the largest segment of the American population and there are over 70 million Baby Boomers getting ready to retire,” Phairas said. “Just think what we could do, how things could change, if we could just get seniors re-fired for ministry.”

Phairas and his wife Sharon arrived at K-Springs in May from Winter Haven, Fla. where he served as a pastor to senior adults. Following his philosophy of “Don’t be old; be bold,” the 71-year-old Michigan native has been out getting acquainted with people in the community. H’s met with Chelsea Mayor Earl Niven to talk about ways he might help seniors in the area. He and Sharon also attend weekly luncheons at the senior center in Chelsea.

Phairas graduated from Gulf Coast Bible College in 1967 with a bachelor’s degree in theology. He has been a pastor for more than 15 years and was involved in a diversified ministry for more than 25 years. During his time, he even worked as vice president of religious marketing for the Saturday Evening Post and as a promotional manager for the Bill Gaither Trio. He booked concerts, sold the tickets and developed all the promotional material.

“In the beginning, our kids would gather round our dining table and help with the advertising we mailed out,” Sharon said.

Using his connections in the world of Southern Gospel Music, Phairas arranged for a concert to be performed at the church by Forgiven, a premier gospel group. But June 1 it was the church’s turn to organize and event in honor of Phairas and his wife. The two said they count it as a joy to have moved from one state to another ministering. In 1995, a church in Pendleton, Ind. was about to close its doors when they went there to pastor.

“But God wasn’t ready for the doors to close,” Phairas said.

Six and a half years later the congregation had grown until they were able to build a new sanctuary, debt-free. It was after this growth that the Phairas moved to Florida. Referring to a story in chapter 14 of the book of Joshua, Phairas said he feels like he has plenty of work left to do.

“Caleb was 85 when he asked for a mountain. I’m only 71 and this is my next mountain to climb — it’s exciting to serve the Lord.”

The couple has been married 49 years and have fours sons and four grandchildren.