Petersburg Bible Church welcomes Demer Webb as a new pastor for the growing congregation.
Webb and wife, Dana, have been married for 14 years and have three children, Ethan, 10, Ella, 7 and Elijah, 2. The Webb family moved here from Atlanta and hopes to make Petersburg their home.
The Webbs arrived Aug. 5 and will move into their permanent home in November.
“I lived in Anchorage for 14 years as a young man,” Webb said. “Until about eight months ago, Petersburg wasn’t even on my radar. The only part of the southeast I really knew anything about was Juneau.”
Webb has been in the ministry for about 20 years and has held many positions but never in a full-time capacity.
“My life in the ministry began with Christian radio,” Webb said. “But I got involved in broadcasting when I was 17.”
Webb spent five years as a program director and morning show host for a Christian Radio station in Maine.
“This was a wonderful ministry opportunity for me,” Webb stated. “Maine is the least churched place in the country and there is more resistance to Christianity there than anywhere else.”
Webb felt this was a great vehicle in which to get the message to those who wouldn’t darken the door of a church.
After his time in radio, Webb felt the pull of seminary. He and his family travelled south to Louisville, Ken.
“This was our first experience in the south,” Webb stated. “It was a brand new cultural experience for us.”
Webb became a Christian at the age of 20 and has for the last 20 years of his life dedicated himself to the ministry and has now found a full-time home with the Bible Church.
“About two years ago, I started looking earnestly for a full-time ministry position,” Webb said. “I discovered an ad online for this position and I had never heard of Petersburg.”
Webb sent his resume and within a couple of days was talking with Pastor Phil Smith.
“We immediately hit it off and spoke for about an hour on the phone,” Webb stated. “It seemed we were on the same page in regards to all the key areas of theology, philosophy and methodology.”
Webb and his family were brought up here in May over Memorial Day weekend to visit with the church community.
“I was able to speak a couple of times,” Webb said. “That went well and one thing led to another. I received a call about a week later telling me the leaders and pastor wanted me to become a pastoral part of the church.”
Webb explained that this was one of the hardest moves he and his family have made.
“The planning to move to an island is tricky,” he said. “There are more things to consider moving like this.”
Webb also explained that there are challenges to island life that no one can understands until they are in that position.
“The lack of amenities that we took for granted anywhere else is an obstacle to overcome,” Dana said. “The conveniences are different and we have to become accustomed to another way of life.”
Dana also said she will miss the sun and the weather but will not miss the heat of Atlanta.
“We were warned about all of these things before making our decision to move here,” Webb said. “This is one of the most fascinating places I have ever lived and the people here are absolutely wonderful.”
Webb explained that this is a good fit for him and his family because they have common ground with the people here.
“The church is growing, which is one of the reasons I was brought here,” Webb stated. “The church has doubled in size and there was only one pastor on staff and there is only so much one pastor can do and then he will be stretched too thin.”
Webb said he was brought here to help him in any way possible. “We are always looking for ways to improve and grow.”
He and his family are very happy here in Petersburg and look forward to a wonderful future here.
“If I can just be a small part of bringing the message of Christ to the people of Petersburg,” Webb said. “I will have fulfilled my mission.”