Bitz at Palmyra’s Graceland Baptist ‘for the long haul’
Kaitlyn Clay, Staff Writer, [email protected]
Graceland Baptist Church in Palmyra welcomed its new pastor, Tim Bitz, along with his wife, Leesha, and their two children, the first of this year to lead the church into its future endeavors.
Originally from South Florida, his family moved to Southern Indiana when he was young, and he has stayed nearby ever since after graduating from Liberty University with a bachelor’s degree in religion. He is currently finishing his last year in his master’s program at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville.
“It seems like we lived everywhere in Southern Indiana: Mauckport, Corydon, Palmyra, Fredericksburg for a bit, and eventually Jeffersonville,” Bitz said. “It was in Jeffersonville that I first asked God to forgive me for my sins and learned how to follow His Son, Jesus.”
Prior to the position at Graceland Baptist, Bitz and his family were serving at a church in Clark County, where he led small groups and the missional communities ministry, the training and evangelists arms of the church. This is where Bitz realized he was capable of leading at a greater capacity.
“Eventually, around 2019, I ran into Graceland’s pastor of Church Planting Partnerships, Nate Millican,” Bitz said. “I originally decided not to pursue the pastoring position. Over time though, I felt a certain draw towards rural areas. That helped me rethink my previous decision about leading Graceland Palmyra. My wife and I then were assessed by the North American Mission Board, passed and were appointed. And we’re here for the long haul.”
Bitz shared that his belief in Jesus and his love and leadership toward his family are all traits that will help him lead the congregation at Graceland Baptist. His hope is that the people of Palmyra, Corydon, Salem and beyond love Jesus and will take the gospel with them as they go to work or where they live.
“Jesus is the star of what we do at Graceland Palmyra, and we want to make Him famous throughout Southern Indiana,” Bitz said. “Our preaching is about Him. The songs we sing are about Him. When we tell stories about what goes on in our lives, they are colored by Jesus’ mercy and grace for us. The events that we plan are created specifically to help people know Him, whether that is for the first time or if they already follow Jesus.”
One of those events coming up for the church is the fall festival, which will be Saturday, Oct. 30, from 4 to 7 p.m.
Bitz invites those who are not a part of a church community to worship at Graceland Baptist, which offers two services on Sundays: 9 and 10:30 a.m. The 10:30 service is staffed for a kids’ church service as well.