Community, Creswell

After 31 years, Faith Center leaders bid adieu

Linda and Jon Hovet PHOTO/HOVETS

In 1987, Jon and Linda Hovet moved to Creswell on a five-year commitment to serve at Creswell Faith Center. That five-year commitment resulted in 31 blessed years in the Creswell community for the Hovets. But it’s now time for the couple to bid farewell and embark on a new adventure, bringing their story full circle to the Salem area.
When Pastor Jon and Linda first moved to Creswell from Monmouth, their three children were only teeny-tiny. Heidi was 10; Isaac was 9; and Kelsey was 6. ”In our hearts, we committed ourselves to raising our children in Creswell,” Linda said. Their kids thrived in the Creswell School District as basketball, baseball and softball players.
Isaac grew up to be a pastor, and Heidi married one. Both currently serve in the Salem area, and the Hovets want to be near them for support, as well as to be near 10 of their 13 grandchildren.
They maintain that Creswell Faith Center was a wonderful place to serve for 31 years.
”Some (churchgoers) have been here before we came, others come and go, but Creswell Faith Center has always been a place of grace, mercy, love and acceptance,” Linda said.
”It’s been rewarding to help families and marriages grow over the years, and to see families in the church adopt children who need forever homes, and then thrive because of it,” Jon said.
Aside from churchwork, one of the Hovets’ greatest outreaches in town has been their 14-year involvement with Party in the Park each summer. With the help of the Kiwanis Club and other organizations, the program started small but has since grown tremendously. Last August, with over 500 people in attendance, over 325 bookbags were distributed in one day to local kids, in addition to a surplus of school supplies and fun games to boot.
”It’s been rewarding to be able to see that we could have an impact on the community, just by loving on them and serving them,” Linda said.
The Hovets pass the torch to Maricela Rinen, who will be taking over Party in the Park.
”We love and appreciate all the community support over the years,” Jon said. ”There are some mixed emotions, but this whole experience has been mutually beneficial, as we learned so much from the community, too.”
For the time being, the Hovets will live in an RV in the Pedee area, and eventually plan to move back to Monmouth. ”It’s a fun part of the story, to think of it all coming full circle,” Linda said. ”It was God’s plan all along for our lives to one day return; we just didn’t know it.”
There will be a send-off reception for Linda and Jon on Sunday, June 24 from 2 to 4 p.m. at Creswell Faith Center, 755 S. Front St., and the community is welcome to attend.



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