Rev. Kolkow Cites Health in Leaving First Baptist Church
On the heels of changes at Lake City Community School, a second and not totally unexpected resignation announced late last week was the immediate departure of First Baptist Church Pastor, Rev. Grant Kolkow.
Rev. Kolkow, who had served as First Baptist Pastor since his first sermon on June 18 last year, has suffered occasional ill health after moving here from his previous pastorate at 4,026’ elevation Moab, Utah.
He was hospitalized with cardiac concerns in Montrose in late February and after release has remained at low altitude, now being headquartered in Olathe, Colorado, near his daughter and son-in-law, Marilyn and J.P., and their three children.
Last week, Rev. Kolkow joined by Steve Dozier, Dan File and Taylor Long, was among 3,000 men attending the annual Shepherd Conference which was held in Sun Valley, California.
In a letter to the First Baptist congregation announcing his immediate retirement from the local church, he refers to increasing health concerns which are attributed to Lake City’s high elevation.
“Although we are not exactly sure what is going on, it seems the high elevation is either causing or exacerbating the situation. I have wrestled with minor headaches, nausea, and occasional major migraine-like headaches since coming to Lake City. The last two months, however, have seen an increase both in intensity and frequency with now other symptoms.”
Concerns over Rev. Kolkow’s health are sufficient that he has not returned to Lake City since leaving the hospital, although he and his wife, Linda, still have their furniture and personal items — including Rev. Kolkow’s extensive theological library — in the Bluff Street manse.
A final sermon at the church is not scheduled and last Sunday, March 11, former Lake City resident Jerry Sharpe, who now lives in Denver, filled in at the Baptist pulpit. Other potentials to serve in an interim capacity at the Baptist Church are Steve Dozier and Dan File, the latter a mainstay at the church in the interval between Rev. Chris Stoker’s departure in September, 2016, and announcement that Rev. Kolkow had been hired in May, 2017.
The church congregation is considering naming an interim pastor and will form a search committee for a permanent replacement. Also under consideration is a going away dinner for Kolkow and assistance in moving the family when they leave the parsonage.
In his farewell letter shared with SILVER WORLD, Rev. Kolkow expresses gratitude and optimism for the future. “As a number of you already know, it is with a heavy heart indeed that I need to resign from my position at First Baptist Church. A favorite verse of mine is found in Proverbs 16:9, “A man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” It seems that the steps of Linda and me are being redirected, even though we do not know what that direction looks like. My health is doing better; thank you for your prayers.”
“Although our time at Lake City has been short, it has definitely been sweet. The opportunity to be your pastor has been an extremely humbling privilege the Lord has blessed me with. The fellowship has been good. Your patience with and trust of me through the various changes, I know have not been easy at times. But you have responded and continue to show a teachable spirit – which is a rare trait – for the cause of the Lord Jesus.”
“For both Linda and I, our love and appreciation for the church in Lake City will always have a special place in our hearts.”
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