Seminary Alumnus Revitalizes Local Church in Northern Utah

Seminary Alumnus Revitalizes Local Church in Northern Utah

Zachary Sigmon, who graduated from BJU Seminary with a master of arts in theological studies in 2017 and then a master of divinity in 2020, is shepherding a church in northern Utah through a revitalization period and spearheading efforts to reach its community.

Led to vocational ministry soon after beginning his undergraduate degree at BJU, Sigmon first developed an interest in Utah listening to Royce Short, former dean of the School of Theology and Global Leadership (then School of Religion), talk about his experience pastoring there for 17 years.

Later, since Sigmon and his wife both wanted to reach a place that lacked healthy churches, Short connected him with Greg Baker, pastor of Fellowship Bible Church in Liberty, Utah, and he and his wife helped the church with its summer soccer camp in 2019. “Listening to Greg articulate Utah’s needs and his vision to meet those needs sealed the deal for us,” Sigmon said.

Consequently, Baker connected them with Rocky Mountain Bible Church in Brigham City, a struggling church that needed help after a church split following the pastor’s retirement. Sigmon put aside his initial plans to pursue a PhD and headed out to RMBC immediately after completing his MDiv in May 2020 to serve as a lay elder alongside the church’s new pastor.

However, the church soon needed more than just help. COVID-19 caused the church to continue shrinking, and in 2022 the pastor had to step down. “The pastor made the difficult, courageous, and wise decision to resign in order to better care for and provide for his family,” Sigmon said. “However, that left the church in a precarious position. Basically, either I had to step in as lead pastor, or the church would close.”

After much prayer and with approval from his mission agency’s field leaders, Sigmon was voted in as pastor in July 2022.

Currently the church is cultivating an atmosphere of evangelism and one-on-one discipleship and emphasizing expository preaching through New Testament books. “We want our people to have deep personal relationships with Christ so that they are eager to worship together, serve others, evangelize the lost and help one another grow, all for God’s glory,” Sigmon said.

As a result, there have already been many examples of the Bible’s transformative power within individuals. “People are hungry for the truth, and the Bible has the answers they’re seeking. I’m so glad the Seminary emphasized having a Word-based ministry and gave me the tools to do that.”

The church is also increasing its presence in the community by intentionally building redemptive relationships and holding Easter egg hunts, going Christmas caroling and serving free lunch to seniors at the community center. Soon Sigmon hopes to include children’s outreaches with help from mission teams and to start a series of conferences on the Bible’s relevance and reliability for everyday needs and struggles. Later he wants to create a community-oriented ministry to help the city’s residents, many of whom deal with drug abuse and suicide. “We want to meet those needs with biblical truth, Christlike compassion and practical wisdom,” he said.

With those efforts, Rocky Mountain Bible Church is on its way toward the long-term goal of becoming a healthy, independent church. Attendance and members have doubled since 2022, now 14 members with about 25 attending every Sunday — tangible evidences of God’s grace for which Sigmon is thankful.

“The Lord has been incredibly gracious as we’ve pursued revitalization. I can’t begin to describe all his goodness,” he said. “Things are certainly difficult, but God has been working. I’ve never seen God answer so many specific prayer requests as he has in our revitalization efforts.”

Ultimately, the church’s goal is to send out church planting teams, specifically to five towns nearby with no Bible-teaching churches. Sigmon is already preparing by focusing on personal growth, training church leadership with pastoral curriculum and learning from experienced church planters. And he is praying: “Utah needs more laborers in its harvest field, and we’re praying for the Lord of the harvest to provide them.”