In 1982, Tyler Grant graduated from high school.
Living at the time in Des Moines, Iowa, Grant’s life had changed dramatically during his teenage years when his parents found God.
“We started going to church a lot more,” said Grant, adding as that faith became more real in the lives of his mom and dad he admitted he rebelled.
Yet life changed for Grant as well during a conference he attended with his dad where he gave his life to the Lord, a life that has ultimately led him to Redwood Falls where, as of June, he became the senior pastor for the Redwood Falls Assembly of God Church.
Instead of heading off to college, Grant said he stuck around home for a year doing what he could, especially working with his home church.
Feeling a need to further his education, especially as it related to his faith, Grant enrolled at North Central University in Minneapolis where he pursued a degree in cross-cultural studies with the belief he was going to serve in a mission field either in another country or in the inner city.
With his new degree, Grant took on a role as youth pastor for a church in Blue Earth, adding that initial ministry experience was a positive one, because of the pastor who embodied what he believed ministry was all about – serving people and doing what one can to be involved in their lives.
Grant has a staff in his office he said he was given by his grandfather, an atheist, who told him that his role as a minister was not about him, but that he existed for the people he was serving.
While he served in youth ministry, Grant still maintained the belief that he would be heading to the mission field.
When the senior pastor at the Blue Earth church left for a ministry opportunity in Rapid City, he asked Grant to come with him. That, said Grant, was another great experience for him in ministry and in his personal life, as that is where he met his wife, Melodee.
Grant served in Rapid City for 14 months before moving on to Green Bay, Wis., but, as time went on, he felt God was calling him to something different. That led him to Willmar and his vision to do evangelism training in an effort to help fellow believers as they shared their faith with others. During that time, Grant ultimately ended up back in the ministry at the Assembly of God church in Willmar.
“I loved working with that staff,” said Grant, adding in each ministry at a church where he served more skills in leadership and in service were being gained.
Then in 1998, Grant was given the opportunity to serve as senior pastor of a church in Delano, where he and his family continued for 15 years.
For Grant and his family, ministry has always been about establishing relationships with people, and that element of ministry has consistently been a priority, which led them to make the decision in 2014 to start an entirely new ministry at an organization known as Teen Challenge. There Grant served as a chaplain, adding that opportunity provided just was he was looking for, as he was able to establish relationships with people who came for help.
While working for Teen Challenge, Grant had the chance to serve as an interim pastor in a number of churches in the Rochester area, as he helped them figure out their vision.
While Grant came from a much larger community, he found his niche in ministry working in smaller towns. Grant said he enjoys being part of that setting, because it allows him the chance to build relationships with people in the congregation and the community as a whole that one might not be able to do in a larger community environment.
Due to the connection he made with the Willmar church, Grant also maintained a connection with the area, and so when the Willmar Assembly of God Church agreed to come alongside the Assembly of God church in Redwood Falls the leadership reached out to Grant to see if he had any interest in serving there.
Grant admitted his initial response to the question was “no,” but he said his wife encouraged him to at least pray about it as an option to see if that is where God was calling him.
Grant met with the board of the Willmar church and the church board in Redwood Falls ultimately coming to the conclusion that this is where he is supposed to be.
Melodee, who is serving as the church administrator, is part of that ministry, said Grant.
“We are a team,” Grant said.
Grant believes the experiences he has had throughout his ministry have prepared him for this next ministry opportunity.
“We are excited to be here,” he said, adding in the end it is all about having a Kingdom of God attitude.
Grant said his message for the church is to “live love,” adding that not only means loving God but also loving one’s neighbor.
Grant officially started at the Redwood Falls church June 16, 2019, adding it was intentional that he began on Father’s Day Sunday.
Tyler and Melodee Grant have two sons, both college graduates who are serving or are looking for opportunities to serve in ministry following in the footsteps of their parents.
Both Tyler and Melodee said they are looking forward to the chance to meet and get to know more of the church family as well as the Redwood Falls community.