Up Close and Personal with David Dunham

With the 2013 Southern Ohio Pastors Conference just around the corner, we wanted to spend some time letting you get to know the men who will be speaking at this year’s conference by asking them to answer a few questions for us. Here’s the third of a series of posts we will be running over the next two weeks leading up to the conference on September 21. 

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David Dunham – Cornerstone Baptist Church – Roseville, Michigan

What is your ministry background and education?

God has graciously granted me many training opportunities and a variety of ministry experiences in my short time. I had the privilege of studying under a well-trained pastor for three and half-years while in college. My mentor then, Steve Burchett, challenged me, shaped me, and allowed me to shadow him in ministry. It was because of Steve that I got the opportunity to work as a youth pastor and worship leader. Those years were formative for me as I prepared to go to seminary. I attended and graduated from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY. While in seminary I again had great mentors who allowed me to serve as a worship leader and to develop my skills in preaching. Greg Gilbert, Aaron Menikof, Keith Goad, and Brad Wheeler were tremendous pastors for me during that season. Finally, upon leaving seminary I took a job as a pastoral assistant where another mentor began to shepherd and disciple me. Frank Tallerico gave me the opportunity to preach, lead worship, teach classes, and learn the skills I needed to be an effective counselor. I have served in small rural churches and mega churches. I have worked with traditional congregations and drug-recovery congregations. Again, the Lord has provided me with a great sweep of experiences in the local church. Though seminary was influential for me I would have to say that the best training really came from godly pastors who allowed me to learn from them, who were intentional about training me, and who fueled my growth as a Christian first.

What are some ways that your background in ministry has helped prepare you for your current ministry context?

My current role as associate pastor at Cornerstone Baptist Church focuses my attention on counseling and discipleship. I am responsible for overseeing our counseling ministries and small group ministry, and for training leaders. The training I received, especially from the ministry of Frank Tallerico, has equipped me well to do counseling and to teach counseling. I had taken multiple classes in seminary on the subject, but without actually seeing it done and participating in it under his supervision it would have remained only theory for me.  I owe a great deal of my present ability to Frank’s training. I would not be the pastor I am today without him. In addition, my time spent serving the drug-recovery culture of Revolution Church has given me a great deal of compassion and awareness about how to develop and oversee our recovery ministry at Cornerstone. The men and women who went through recovery at Revolution and who allowed me to serve them and serve alongside them have, unknowingly, provided great resources for me as I seek to serve the men and women going through recovery in my present situation.

What is God doing in your church and/or community right now that is really exciting?

Having only been at Cornerstone for four months, I am not sure I know how to answer this question. Everything feels exciting to me because it’s all new. We are launching a new prayer ministry in October that I think will be a wonderful addition to the corporate disciplines of our church. We are launching our new Free Seminary this fall and helping to train in both theology and practical ministry the men and women of our church. We have had 50+ people sign up for Biblical Counseling training this fall, which is certainly something to be excited about. All around I believe the discipleship ministry of Cornerstone Baptist Church is going to look dramatically different in a year because of the efforts being made right now to sharpen our people. I may be working myself out of a job!

What do you hope to see accomplished by the SOPC?

I love this ministry and I am so thrilled it exists in Southern Ohio. My desire for this ministry is really two-fold: (1) I want to see more resources offered to pastors in the region. Even if you had the luxury of going to seminary moving into the local church means losing a lot of the resources you once had as a student. There are so many things we can learn from one another if we are willing to listen and if there is a community we can look to that will pool those resources. SOPC is just such a community; (2) I want to see more churches partner together for the advancement of the gospel in that region. The Kingdom of God is bigger than the kingdom of a single pastor, single church, or single denomination. And though our theological differences are not unimportant, the gospel is bigger than these. I believe that healthy churches are those that can find ways to collaborate for the advancement of the gospel of Jesus Christ. And as we do that more people can be reached for the name of Christ. In addition I hope that the SOPC will succeed so that I can take your experiences and attempt to duplicate them in my own region. Though I am not in Southern Ohio anymore, I am looking back to you all for signs of success that I can see duplicated here in Detroit. I pray regularly for SOPC to that end.

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  1. […] David Dunham is an associate pastor at Cornerstone Baptist Church in Roseville, Michigan, and will be speaking during the third session, Discipling for Transmission and Transformation. He is a graduate of Ohio University (BA) and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (MDiv). […]

  2. […] “Up Close and Personal with David Dunham” by Robie […]



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