With an awareness of purpose combined with a delightful sense of humor, Graham Bates is part of the Core Team in the Groups Coordinator role.
Originally from Tennessee, when asked what brought him to Las Vegas, Graham likes to answer, “a 25-foot truck.” His wife’s brother, Justin McClendon, is the co-owner of Arthur Murray Dance Center in Las Vegas and Henderson and invited her to work with him. Graham and his family, including three children, decided to make the move.
His family friend, Laura, who had been attending Downtown Faith off-and-on for a few years, introduced Graham to Downtown Faith. She told Graham that she thought he would enjoy its different approach to faith.
“We [my family] weren’t looking for a church in Las Vegas, but we were going around to many churches. We decided to attend in the summer of 2018, and now it is our church home,” he says.
He is also a teacher at the Nevada Virtual Academy, with an increase in the student population.
“The only change was that one day of the week, students would come to the office in either Las Vegas or Reno for in-person studying and instruction.”
Graham will be the guest speaker on Sunday, May 10, as part of The Cure discussion series. “The whole theme is the cure for loneliness, including communion with God and having companionship. I will talk about the community, and part of it is just showing up. I talk to my students about this that this is their education, and they have to show up. I don’t mean just show up for class but engage by asking questions. They should not be expecting everything to come to them but go out and seek knowledge. I will be talking about when you attend a gathering, what does that mean being together?”
Graham has served as a minister in Colorado, preaching minister at Petaluma Church, and lecturer in English in the faculty of Foreign Languages at Ningbo University. He has studied Intercultural Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary and the Bible at Freed–Hardeman University.
As for any lessons to be learned from the past two months, “you should take stock of what is really important and what is not. I have been trying to do more this year is read. I discovered some bad habits in me, which was preventing me from reading and keeping me from a real connection with others. Having to stay home and not be able to go out whenever we want to really does help us see that our lives really weren’t on purpose, that we were going from one point to another.
“I do hope that people will take stock of their lives and re-prioritize how they spend their time, especially their free time.”
To connect with Downtown Faith, including joining the conversation virtually, visit www.facebook.com/dtlvfaith.
Blog Post by: Debbie Hall