Pastor Robert "Bob" LaFollette is a walking testimony to the power of God's word and His love.

"I got saved seven years ago when I walked into a church for the first time in my adult life," said LaFollette.

He said that church was the Churches of Christ in Christian Union at the corner of McKinley Avenue and State Street, Newcomerstown.

He credits his mentor Pastor Jim Reed for his guidance in where he is today.

Pastor Reed helped LaFollette become the associate pastor at the church, Sunday School Superintendent and Teen Minister. Then, he encouraged him to become a pastor where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Ministry and Teaching from the Ohio Christian University.

Today, he is the pastor at the First Baptist Church in Newcomerstown. He served as interim pastor from April 1 until he was officially approved by the congregation on July 26.

He maintains the same goals and objectives of every pastor and that is to worship God, serve God's people and bring people to Christ.

With that, LaFollette plans to have the sanctuary open on Monday and Wednesday nights from 5 to 7 p.m. for church members and village residents to come in and pray. Currently, they have Bible Study every Wednesday from 10 to 11 a.m.

Being a by vocation pastor lends him time to continue to be a precision machining instructor at the Buckeye Career Center in New Philadelphia. He has held that position for the past 17 years.

LaFollette, who grew up in Sarahsville and graduated from Shenandoah High School but has lived in Newcomerstown for 30 years, is married to his wife, Donna, of 28 years. He has three stepchildren and seven step-grandchildren. He also serves as the Church Relations coordinator for Operation Christmas Child for the area.

The First Baptist Church, located at 135 S. River St., Newcomerstown, has Bible Study from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. each Sunday and services from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.

He welcomes visitors to the church and hopes to bring everyone closer to God.