JIM KRAMER, COMMUNITY LIFE PASTOR
My life story can be brokendown to four different “chunks” of life.
(1) Growing up and leaving home
(2) The foundry years
(3) The Luiken & Sons years
(4) The present years.
I was born in Hardin County in 1952 and lived both in Steamboat Rock and on the farm near Steamboat Rock. During my entire childhood, my parents made sure that attending church at 1st Baptist Church was a high priority for me. As a child growing up in the church, I knew that someday I would have to “go forward” like the other kids to show that I was saved. But at the age of 13, God opened my heart to the gospel and I understood the true meaning of having a relationship with Jesus Christ. It was at that time that my personal relationship with Jesus began and I was baptized on April 10, 1966. On September 11, 1967, I first became attracted to my future wife. (Yes, I was only 15 at the time). We started dating at that time and we were married on March 11, 1972. I graduated from the Steamboat Rock High School in 1970 and then attended AIB business school in Des Moines.
Shortly after getting married, I got my first regular job with a foundry in Des Moines. It was soon after that I got the opportunity to invest in this foundry. It seemed like such a golden opportunity and there seemed to be no way to lose. I had so much to learn. A few years later the job was gone, the investment was gone, and we did have a large debt to payoff. It was at this same time, that God blessed Jane and I with the gift of two beautiful daughters. The joy of raising two girls helped to ease the pain of the “foundry” years.
After going through the tough times of the foundry, I was blessed with the opportunity to work for and with Royce Luiken at Harold H. Luiken & Sons. I learned much from him and am very thankful for the opportunities that he gave me. Royce was a man of integrity who lived out his faith. Our family moved back to Steamboat Rock in 1976 and we once again started attending church here. My wife and I both rededicated our lives to Christ and have been serving here ever since then. This church has played a huge role in the spiritual growth of both my wife and I and our two daughters, Amy and Tammy
In 2005, we closedHarold H. Luiken & Sons, and God has blessed that decision. I was then given the opportunity to go on staff here at SRBC to serve as the Minister of Community Life. When my wife and I first moved back to Steamboat Rock in the late 1970’s, I had written down my life goal to “serve God by serving the people around me.” I am sothankful that he has given me the opportunity to do that in this church and in this area.
As I look back on my life, I can clearly see God’s hand in all areas of my life. I am so very thankful that the faithful people of SRBC first introduced me to Jesus during my childhood, helped me to mature in my faith as a youth, and are now allowing me the opportunity to serve God through the work of this church.