Mark and Michele Kelsay, pastors of First Assembly of God in Copperas Cove, will launch a new chapter in their ministerial lives when they open a new charter school at the church in the fall.
“We have always been involved with education and teaching children in our ministry,” Michele Kelsay said.
The Kelsays arrived in Copperas Cove 20 years ago. Through the years, in addition to their church duties, they managed a day care and Christian school. The day care closed a few years ago and the school closed in May, but the Kelsays are excited about opening their new endeavor, Cove Charter Academy.
Mark Kelsay, 57, was born in Kansas City, Mo., and moved to Magnolia, Ark., in the fourth grade. In first grade, he gave his heart to Christ, attended church as a young boy but strayed while he was in high school, he said.
When he was 21, Mark Kelsay called on God to help him. At Christmastime, he attended a revival service on the last night of a six-week meeting and dedicated his life to the Lord. That’s when he sensed the call to ministry.
The pastor attended Rhema Bible School in Tulsa, Okla., and Southwestern Assemblies of God University in Waxahachie, where he received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
He moved to Beaumont to serve as an associate pastor and met his wife, Michele, at a singles meeting at the church. They married in 1983 and are now a ministry team.
Pattie Lofton Aponte, a church member since 1982, said the Kelsays make everyone feel welcome.
“I love how the Kelsays love people,” she said. “Pastor is a student of the word. He diligently researches and studies before he teaches and preaches.”
First Assembly of God is at 2205 Farm-to-Market 3046, Copperas Cove.