PHS grad receives clergy grant; makes plans to visit his hometown on sabbatical

PLYMOUTH — Next May, Pastor Brett Crump will be taking four months off from his duties as senior pastor at New Palestine Bible Church.
Crump is one of only 19 ministers in Indiana to receive the 2011 Lilly Endowment clergy renewal grant. The grant awards up to $50,000 to ministers to enable them to take time off, travel, and rest.
Crump said that applying for the grant was a pretty involved process.
He first heard about the program through members of his congregation last winter, and decided to apply in March. Toward the end of June, he received notification that he had been one of the 19 selected.
Crump already has most of his time off planned. He and his wife, Joanna, will use the first week to celebrate their anniversary. Then he plans to take his family on a tour of Europe, visiting key places in the history of the church. They will stay in Europe for three weeks, before Crump will depart alone to Israel. There, he will meet a missionary friend of his and they will plan to visit Biblical and historical sites. Before his sabbatical ends, Crump will visit his hometown of Plymouth and reconnect with family and old friends.
“I believe (the trip) will do several things,” said Crump. “It will provide some rejuvenation, I’ll have time to gain more insights into the history of the church (and) be able to draw from that in a more experiential way.”
Crump said that he believes his congregation will benefit from his sabbatical when he is able to provide more specific illustrations for his sermons based on actually seeing Biblical places. He is also looking forward to using his time off reflecting and thinking about his personal journey with Christ and the future of his church.
“(The trip) is not just meant to be a vacation, it’s meant to be a renewal,” said Crump.
Crump graduated from Plymouth High School in 1988 and has pastored at New Palestine Bible Church for nine years. His parents still reside in Plymouth. Lilly Endowment has been giving clergy renewal grants for 13 years and has awarded 382 total grants in Indiana since the program began.
Application information for the 2012 program will be available on their website, by early September.