Bridges Community Church of Los Altos’ new pastor, Dan Stockum, begins his tenure with support and enthusiasm from the faith community.

“Dan is a great communicator, and his sermons always provide an opportunity to learn and grow, said Fritz Mueller, Elder Board chairman. “I look forward to implementing his vision for increasing our impact in the community.”

Carrie Miller, a longtime church member, added that Stockum has a “passion for cultivating a welcoming community” centered on reaching people wherever they are in their faith journey.

“With this mindset, Dan has challenged church attenders to roll up their sleeves and reach people beyond the four walls of the church,” she said.

Originally from Ohio, Stockum has spent most of his life in the South, serving at churches in Georgia and Alabama. From an early age, he had a feeling that he was supposed to be a pastor.

“I began to understand that it didn’t matter how much money I made if I wasn’t doing what I was created to do,” Stockum said. “Simultaneously, I had begun volunteering for the high school ministry at my church, and every time I did so, I felt free and alive.”

With guidance from pastors he said totally captivated him, mentors who spent significant time with him and a group of friends who encouraged his faith, Stockum gave into his calling.

“I was tired of swimming upstream against the current of where God wanted me,” he said.

Stockum and his wife, Beth, have been married since 2007. Other than spending time with Beth and their two young sons, he enjoys cooking, eating, traveling and the outdoors – especially related to National Parks in California. He earned his Master of Divinity from Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Ala., and is working toward a doctorate from Southern Seminary, with a special interest in community building.

Bridges Community Church, founded as Grace Bible Chapel in 1940 and later incorporated as First Baptist Church of Los Altos before the name change to Bridges in 2010, is located at 625 Magdalena Ave.

“To serve here is to stand on the faithfulness and accomplishments of decades of church members. Without them, we wouldn’t be here,” Stockum said. “Being the pastor of such a church is a humbling responsibility, to say the least.”

Sujana Panthulu, chairperson of Bridges’ deaconesses, said the church body looks forward to Stockum leading into the next generation.

“Jesus is the hope of the world, and the local church is the vehicle of expressing that hope to the world,” she said. “I believe that Pastor Dan with his heart and Ph.D. research focusing on community building will lead us to be the missionary church, the light in our local community.”

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