ANDERSON — It’s what’s under the surface that’s so interesting.
Although Rev. Brad Buhro’s calling encourages people to look under surface to grow their spiritual life, the preacher occasionally dons a wetsuit to look into the deep. Three years ago, the pastor of Southdale Church of the Nazarene earned his certification in scuba diving.
Pastor Brad’s most memorable dive took place in a pond in a thunderstorm.
“If you’ve never been underwater in a thunderstorm, you’re missing out,” he said.
The trick is doing it safely, getting under the surface before the storm arrives.
That’s kind of what Pastor Brad works on in his professional life as well. He looks after the flock of about 120 members at Southdale Church of the Nazarene. He’s been ministering to the congregation there for two years, after almost eight years as a youth pastor in Middletown
The church dates back to its founding in 1936. It moved to its current location at 530 W. 53rd St. about 20 years ago, from a Columbus Avenue location.
Pastor Brad said that to serve God’s glory and the good of the world, the church strives to help people “become a little more like Jesus.” They do that though worship service, small group ministries, tangible community outreach, and sharing their faith with others.
The congregation finds ways to meet needs in the community. That may be building handicap ramps, visiting shut-ins, providing breaks for caregivers, or helping neighborhood kids get shoes to wear to school. Kids from the Southdale neighborhood have a welcome home in the church’s programs.
Pastor Brad and his wife, Michelle, have five kids, Brenden, 17, Brett, 13, Brice, 12, Brock, 10, and Mackenzie, 8. Michelle works part-time as a nurse at St. Vincent Regional Anderson, the rest of the time she and Pastor Brad oversee their children’s home schooling.
“It has its challenges, but we like it a lot,” said Pastor Brad. He confesses, “She does most of the teaching. I do most of the grading.”
He and Michelle also lead the Shenandoah 4-H Club focusing on projects like wildlife, entomology, photography, computers and more.
When they get the chance, the couple enjoys walking the rural roads near their home.
Then, there’s the scuba diving. Having earned his certification in 36-degree weather, Pastor Brad noted, “It’s not about tropics. It’s just about being underwater. It’s so relaxing, so enjoyable.”
Pastor Brad has never done a dive south of Muncie, but still finds plenty to interest him underwater. His last dive was in Philips Outdoor Center in Muncie. The site was at one time the Muncie Sand and Gravel quarry.
“It’s a neat old place,” said Pastor Brad.
The bug originally bit after the pastor’s brother, a scuba instructor, got him interested. Once Pastor Brad got into it, his kids got interested as well.
Now, the two eldest Buhro kids are certified. As for 12-year old Brice, Pastor Brad said, “He’s eagerly awaiting his certification class.”
Come Sunday, Pastor Brad and his family will be on dry land. The church has a few events coming up in short order. Southern gospel group Paul’s Journey Quartet comes to Southdale on Friday, Sept. 6, at 7 p.m. This is a return visit for the Texas-based group.
The church hosts their back to church picnic on Sept. 15, and the church’s annual tribute concert takes place on Oct. 20. For more information, check out the website www.southdalenaz.com, look for them on Facebook or call 642-2515.
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Coming up at Southdale Church of the Nazarene What: Paul's Journey Quartet, southern Gospel group Where: Southdale Church of the Nazarene, 530 W. 53rd St., Anderson When: Friday, Sept. 6, 7 p.m. Recommended $10 donation at the door, and a love offering will be taken up. More info contact 778-4360.