our story

Rush City Baptist Church has its roots in Swedish immigrants who began to form congregations in the region in 1885. In 1963 the congregation merged with the East Rock Creek Baptist Church and the current building was constructed in 1971 under the leadership of Pastor George Asp. In the early 1990s the church became dysfunctional and it experienced a very painful split. Through the healing ministry of interim pastor Roy Johnson, the church returned to a functioning church. The church called the current pastor, David Melin, in 1998 and it has continued to pursue its mission of reaching Rush City with the Gospel.  In 2006 the church hired Pastor Jason Karlsson, who grew up on the community, to lead the youth ministry.

Our leaders


  • Dave melin - Pastor

    David Melin has served as senior pastor of Rush City Baptist Church since 1998. He and his wife Karen have been married for 36 years and have four grown children, Elizabeth (married to Dan McClellan), Reilly, Samuel, and Zachary (who is married to Katie), and three grandchildren, Titus, Silas and Chloe. They enjoy the small town feel of Rush City. David was raised in a pastor’s home and grew up in small towns in the Dakotas where he developed his love for the rural ministry. Prior to his time in Rush City, he served as pastor at Grace Baptist Church in Waseca, Minnesota for ten years. In 2002 he traveled to Ukraine for the first time to teach at the Kremenchuk Evangelical Seminary and to spend time with his sister church, Rakovka Evangelical Church. He now teaches at the seminary two times a year, teaching the Psalms, the Book of Proverbs, the Gospel of Mark, the Book of Acts, and the Prison Letters of Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians. He has written a devotional commentary on all 150 psalms entitled "Meditations on the Psalter" and it was published in Russian in 2018. He has completed his second commentary on the Book of Proverbs and is working with the Smyrna Publishing House in Cherkassy, Ukraine to get it printed in Russian this year. In addition to his love of Ukraine, he is a lover of classical music and boasts the largest classical library in northern Minnesota.  If you cannot find him in the office on a Thursday, he is probably at the matinee performance of the Minnesota Orchestra.

  • Jason karlsson - youth pastor

    Jason Karlsson serves as our Youth Pastor. He grew up in Rush City and began to attend Rush City Baptist Church after graduating from high school.  He went off to college and came back to town for work and to get married.  After serving as a volunteer in our youth program, in the fall of 2006 he was hired to serve as the Youth Leader.  Jason and his wife Emily (Engler) have lived in Rush City their entire lives.  Their family consists of Aaron, Simon, Lilly, and Micah.  When Jason is not hanging out with kids of the church or his family, he is working at Stepp Manufacturing or tinkering in his garage.  As a bit of trivia, Jason recently changed his favorite verse to Romans 10:14.

  • Scott stepp - elder & moderator

    Scott Stepp has lived in Rush City since 2000 and started attending RCBC in 2009. Scott grew up in Sunrise, literally next to Sunrise Bible Church, where he would walk to Sunday School, church, and youth group. It was there that he learned solid Bible truths and the good news of Jesus Christ. Even though he was saved at a young age, his faith never blossomed or became fruitful. His marriage to his college sweetheart, Kathleen, resulted in the birth of his three sons: Sandon, Ty, and Nolan.  In 2009, a life-threatening illness forced him to take his faith seriously. He is now active in Sunday School, church, and a small group. He also serves as an elder, works with the 5th and 6th grade youth group, takes his family on the Windigo missions trip every year. He has a heart for strong families and especially strong male role models.  When Scott is not at home or church, you can probably find him at one of the ball fields or courts in town watching or coaching one of his boy's games. He also enjoys the outdoors and going on dates with his wife.

  • Dan weber - elder

    Dan Weber lives north of Pine City with his wife Jami, and their two boys, Jacob and David. Dan works as part of a team of network administrators for Chisago County. Dan was raised in a Lutheran church, but although he knew about God, because that is what he was supposed to learn, he did not know Christ until he was 18 after having been discipled by his wife's family, and realized that knowing about Christ was not enough. Today Dan enjoys serving as part of the worship team and learning about Biblical history. Dan also enjoys hunting, fishing, beekeeping (he supplies Pastor Dave with excellent honey for his tea) and building things out of whatever is around.

  • pat thiry - elder

    Pat Thiry lives in rural Stanchfield just off the NW corner of Rush Lake with his wife Julie. He is the proud father of three beautiful daughters. Pat was raised on a small farm near Cambridge, and attended Cambridge High School. In his youth, he was active in school sports and outdoor activities like hunting, fishing, and camping. He was raised in the Catholic church, but recalls his acceptance of Christ into his life while attending a Billy Graham Crusade at the old Met Stadium in 1974. His love of God’s natural creation and outdoors was instilled in him by his father at an early age, spending countless mornings and evenings in the woods, or on a lake hunting and fishing. He carries that passion into his work with the youth of the church, through the Awana and youth programs. One of his goals is to teach young men that we can still be “real men” and be committed followers of Jesus Christ. Pat often laughs as he is heading out with his boat and one of his nephews or young man from church that he is heading out on his "Fish Ministry”! He is also active with the Missions Committee on the Windigo mission outreach. 

  • Garold Heineman - Elder

    Garold lives in Rock Creek with his wife Stacy, and their two children, son Levi and daughter Josephine.  He works as a carpenter framing houses in the metro area.  Garold grew up in a strong Christian home attending the Assembly of God church in Pine City.  Garold has always enjoyed being involved with ministry to young people.  He is currently the third and fourth grade boys leader in Awana and he will be teaching Sunday School this summer.  Garold is also an avid hunter and loves the outdoors.

  • karen melin - church secretary/awana commander

    Karen Melin is the church secretary, as well as the Sunday School teacher for the 1-3 year-olds. She is also the Awana Commander and the Sparks Leader. She has been involved in the Awana ministry for over 30 years and has enjoyed herself with every age group. She came to Christ as a young child and grew up in a Christian home as the oldest of nine children. She started teaching Sunday School as a young girl and has continued her love of teaching children about Christ for almost 40 years. She is a mother of four adult children, a grandmother of two young boy and one granddaughter, and an avid gardener. She has a lovely shade garden in her front yard and a “small” garden in the back. She also enjoys cooking and sewing. She also works during the school year at Jacobson Elementary as a one-on-one paraprofessional.

  • Stacy Heineman - administrative committee chair

    Stacy Heineman lives in rural Rush City with her husband, Garold, and their two children, Levi and Josephine.  Stacy was born in Littlefork, Minnesota where she lived until she was 20.  She grew up attending the Catholic church.  She graduated from Bemidji State University in 2001.  That was also the year she accepted Jesus as her Savior and was baptized.  The family moved back to Rush City in 2014.  She and her family became members of the church in 2015.  Stacy is a listener for the Awana ministry.  She also enjoys bow hunting, reading, crafting, and searching for antiques.

  • kathleen stepp - diaconate committee chair

    Kathleen Stepp is the chairperson of the Diaconate Committee which tends to any special needs that the church or community members may have.  She also helps to coordinate special events.  She gave her life to the Lord as a young lady, and is excited that He has led their family to Rush City Baptist Church. Kathleen and her husband, Scott, attended college at Winona State University. They got married and moved to Rush City in 2000. She enjoys working with people of all ages, and has been involved with teaching both Sunday school classes and Awana classes.

  • ben moulton - worship director/worship committee chair

    Ben Moulton serves as the worship leader of the church. He was born and raised on his family farm in Rush City and grew up in the church. He accepted Christ at an early age and has been active in the worship team since high school. He played drums and bass off and on while attending college at the University of Northwestern-St. Paul where he received a Bachelor’s of Applied Mathematics.  He also graduated from the University of Minnesota where he received a Bachelor’s of Mechanical Engineering. He currently works as a Mechanical Engineer at Stepp Manufacturing in Sunrise. He continues to work on his family farm where he enjoys raising his goats and sheep.  Ben also ministers to the senior high youth group on Wednesday nights.