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The Rev. Dustin Largent has been called to serve Atkinson Congregational Church, 201 West 2nd St., where Sunday services are held at 10 a.m.

ATKINSON — After more than 20 years involved in ministry in the state of Washington, the Rev. Dustin Largent has been called to serve at Atkinson Congregational Church.

Even though Atkinson is almost 2,000 miles from Washington, Largent won't be too far from his roots. He was born in the Peoria area in 1973.

In 1997, he was offered a position as a youth and associate pastor at Esperance Baptist Church in Edmonds, Wash., just north of Seattle. He served in that position for nine years during which time he was ordained Conservative Baptist and also earned his Master’s Degree in Pastoral Ministry with a concentration in Pulpit Communication and Expository Preaching from Trinity Theological Seminary, Newburgh, Ind.

Largent was also a church partner with Seattle Area Youth for Christ.

In 2006, he ventured out and became a “church planter,” starting New Life Bible Church in Kenmore, Wash. The church later became New Community Bible Church, where Largent served as pastor for 12 years during which services were held in numerous locations including two different gymnasiums, a dance studio and two homes.

“The church was nondenominational and started with no building or money, so I sold real estate and became a managing broker/sales manager for Brier Realty Inc., a real estate brokerage firm in Brier, Wash., to support our family,” he said.

“It was a wonderful church family to be a part of, but at the end of 2018, we felt God leading us to come to lead Atkinson Congregational Church in ministry to Atkinson people and those in the surrounding areas,” Largent said. “Winter here will take some time to get used to after living in the moderate marine climate of Seattle for over 20 years, but we are excited to be a part of what God is doing here.”

“More information about our church is available at atkinsoncongregational.com.

Largent said he met God as a 14-year-old high school student through a friend from school.

“I was mentored and encouraged in my faith by a pastor of a small church in East Peoria, the Rev. David Graham.”

“My favorite part of being a pastor is when I see people take their next right step with God,” he said. In particular, when someone moves from knowing about God to knowing God. The two are very different. I also love teaching from the Bible and seeing people discover who God really is from God’s own word.

Largent and his family live in Geneseo.

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