9/4/2016 We Have a New Minister!

Pastor Rick Page, a Florida native, recently took over the pulpit at Plateau Christian Church in Crossville. He knew this is where God wanted him to be. "For years now, we wanted to be in eastern Tennessee," he said. "We were contacted by Plateau Christian Church and asked if there was a chance we would be in Tennessee. We had not been in the state since 2004, but had a trip planned to Nashville. We arranged a Sunday to be here, we fell in love with the town, the people and the church. "I decided to accept the call and come to Crossville." The vote by Plateau Christian to accept Page as the new pastor was unanimous. Pastor Page is joined by his wife, Suzanne. They have three children; Keith, Matthew and Audra. Pastor Page brings a broad background as far as leadership is concerned, as well as pastoral counseling. He served the last eleven years as lead minister in Montana, and previous to that in churches in Florida. While in Montana, Pastor Page served as chaplain at a meth treatment program which is part of the Montana prison system. As a result of this work, Pastor Page and his congregation became instrumental in drug treatment and recovery programs in their community. “In Florida, my counseling load was about 95% relational and only 5% addictions. In Montana, that reversed.” He believes these, and other, experiences have prepared him for ministry here. Pastor Page has the reputation of motivating congregations to be externally focused. In Florida and in Montana, the congregations he served were known for outreach to the community in both traditional and non-traditional ways – pairing with the American Red Cross and FEMA after the hurricanes in 2004 to supply food, resources and to open the church building as a Red Cross shelter for those made homeless. In Montana, this included an outreach service during the hunting season, where a gun a week was given away. The congregation also sponsored comedy shows to raise funds for a hospice house, using nationally known Christian comedians. The first $10,000 came from the first of these events. "I am big on church health, not church growth," he said. "I'm big on small groups. The major thing a church can do is to bring the gospel to the community." This philosophy led him to be a guest teacher in the Lewistown School District. Pastor Page served on several boards in the Lewistown area. In addition, he served on the Board of Directors at Boise Bible College, the North American Christian Convention and others. The start of his ministry At the age of 16, when Pastor Page was a counselor at summer camp he felt God had called him into full-time ministry. "I immediately went to Christian college," he said referring to Berkshire Christian College, where he attended one year, from 1976 to 1977. But, Pastor Page ended up getting married and didn't return to college for the second year. He worked in the business world for quite a few years. Among his jobs was one in management and sales for AT&T Wireless. In 1993, he returned to Florida Christian College (now Johnson University, Florida) and he graduated in 1999 and entered full-time ministry at Eau Gallie Christian Church, where he was an elder and finally serving on staff for six years, continuing his graduate education at Cincinnati Christian University. Pastor Page then served at First Christian Church in Lewistown, Montana from June of 2005 until accepting the call at Plateau Christian and moving here in August.


Alcoa police officers responded at 1:15 p.m to the report of a wreck with injuries on Sam Houston School Road near Lagrange Drive. Upon arrival, officers discovered that Brian L. Hembree, 34, Anthony Road, Walland, was travelling east in a Ford Expedition on Sam Houston School Road and failed to maintain his lane of travel. Hembree’s vehicle crossed the center line, resulting in a head-on crash with a Mercury Grand Marquis travelling westbound.

The driver of the Mercury – Roger A. Penwell, 48, Wesmoreland Court, Seymour – was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. Two passengers in his vehicle – Jennifer M. Penwell, 47, and J.W. A. Penwell, 23, both of Westmoreland Court, Seymour – were extricated from the Mercury and were flown by Lifestar to the University of Tennessee Medical Center.   (WATE-TV)

Crossville News First has learned Mr. Penwell was the minister at Plateau Christian Church on 127 South in Crossville.  He has been minister there for the past couple of years maintaining an apartment in Crossville in addition to his family residence in Seymour.  We are also told that Jennifer and J.W. are in intensive care at UT.