Pastors find themselves in the ministry for many reasons, and with a variety of responsibilities and areas of interest and passion. Some enjoy visiting with members and supporting them, some like teaching and others enjoy preaching.
Bud Ullrich, pastor of the Church of God (7th Day), falls into the latter category.
“I like preaching above all things. When the Lord gives you a message to give, that’s the best one,” Ullrich said. “I’ve studied and studied and studied a message and it can fall flat. There’s no other high on earth like a message from the Lord.”
Ullrich often learns as much as he teaches.
“When you’re up there preaching, [and you find] the words coming out of your mouth are teaching you just as much as the audience, you know it’s from the Lord,” he said.
His messages are mostly of the self-help type variety.
“Because, really, the only person you can have control of is yourself,” he said. “The messages are mostly salvation in Christ within. I’m human and far from perfect. We are who we let the Lord make us.”
Ullrich has served nearly eight years as pastor, after being assistant pastor for four years.
This wouldn’t be unusual, except that he is 37 years old, so he was 25 when he made the commitment. Before becoming pastor he took six months training through his church’s Ministries In Training. His appointment is part-time.
“The rest of it I’ve relied upon the Lord for,” he said. “It’s a small church, and we can’t afford a full-time minister.”
His full-time job is working with his dad at Calvin and Son Roofing, something they’ve done together since 1997, not counting all the summer and weekend days he apprenticed in his youth. His dad has been doing that work more than 40 years, Ullrich said.
A country church right in the middle of town is how he describes the church.
“Our services are probably more traditional than most,” he said. “Sometimes our adult Sabbath school classes are very interesting because we have an open discussion, and they run the whole gamut from prophesy, to doctrine, to law, to understanding the spirit.”
He preaches from the King James translation of the Bible, but he also studies from a New King James, NIV and American Standard, he said.
The church is traditional the all the ways Sunday meeting churches are, he said.
“The biggest difference from other Sabbath-keeping churches is we’re not Adventists, we trust in the Bible and the Bible alone,” Ullrich said.
They meet on Saturdays because of the fourth Commandment, to remember to keep the Sabbath Day holy, he said.
“We call Saturday, Saturday, but it’s a tradition to call it Sabbath,” he said. “God created the heavens and the earth and on the seventh day he rested. He gave that commandment to Moses, so why follow nine, not all 10? If you look back through Catholicism’s history, you can see where they changed from Saturday to Sunday.”
The 10 Commandments are often referred to by Ullrich when he’s preaching.
“It’s our road map to relationships, the first four with God and the last six with man,” he said. “The New Testament teaches us that the Commandments are not grievous or burdensome, but liberating, like Christ in us.”
Old hymns and contemporary music are part of Sabbath services, he said. Ullrich plays guitar and bass.
“We do songs from groups like Third Day, Casting Crowns and Jeremy Camp,” he said.
His uncle, David Taylor, plays lead guitar with the praise team, and taught Ullrich to play a lot of what he knows.
“Aunt Denise [David’s wife] is our piano player, along with my grandma’s twin sister Lucille Hinds,” said Ullrich. “She’s played her entire life for this church,” he said.
Married to wife Tamra, they have one daughter, Lacy, 8. Tamra home-schools their daughter and helps out at her dance school.
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