By Sterling McGinn

Newberry’s Living Water Church Assembly of God officially has a new pastor.

Matthew Eastman, plus his wife and three children, now call Newberry their home. Eastman’s first Sunday service as pastor was February 18 at the church located on Miller Road. He replaced longtime pastor Jim Duflo, who has moved from the area.

“They posted on Facebook that this church became open,” said Eastman. “Through the fall and the Christmas season we were in contact with the church, and we came up on January 7 and were voted into the church.”

Eastman grew up in Mio, Michigan in the Lower Peninsula, and pastored a church in Chelsea, Michigan for about three years. But the couple longed for the north country. Melissah grew up in Moran, Michigan, and has family in the area.

“We were down in Jackson and kind of missing the north,” said Eastman. “We love it up here…we love the snow.”

Living in Jackson, Michigan, Eastman said he didn’t have the opportunities to fish, hunt or to do other outdoor activities. Now that the family are permanent residents, he is looking forward to being able to do those activities and to see more wildlife with his children.

One of Eastman’s main goals is to see the church grow and to see lives changed. He is also looking forward to meeting fellow Newberry residents and clergy members.

“I am eager to get to know as many people as possible in Newberry and for them to get to know me,” he said.

Eastman is also interested in getting involved with community functions and organizations including the food pantry and Tahquamenon Area Schools.