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New pastor guiding Crossroads
Pastors Brian Hunt, left, and Mike Moore of Crossroads Grace Community Church.

Brian Hunt loves to play tag because he doesn’t think Christians should hide their faith.

So when people leave services they should be ready to “tag” others with the message that Jesus Christ provides.

Hunt is the new pastor for Crossroads Community Church.

He will replace Mike Moore who has guided the church from its beginning of 17 people meeting in a home more than 28 years ago to today with 2,000 members meeting in the high-profile church on Moffat Boulevard that backs up to the Highway 99 and 120 Bypass freeways.

Moore will stay on staff for awhile to make sure the transition goes smooth. But come July 7, Hunt is taking over the reins of arguably one of the most dynamic places of worships in Manteca.

The transition has been 4.5 years in the making to make sure the national search found the right pastor.

“I really believe God is fun,” Hunt said. “You will find a high level of energy (during one of my services.) I believe people should enjoy the Bible.”

Hunt is coming to Crossroads from Parkview Christian Church in Lockport near Chicago. The church, just like Crossroads, grew from 300 worshippers to more than 7,000 today. Parkview has two campuses.

Hunt says his goal is to “tag” worshippers with The Word and encouragement so they are “it” when they leave services so they can tag others with God’s word.

“Tag, you’re it,” Hunt said. “Christ is a tag team sport.”

Forgive Hunt for the sports analogies.

It’s a habit he picked up playing Division I baseball for the University of Nebraska. The second baseman played pro ball after college with the minor league Sioux Falls Canaries.

It was while he was at Nebraska that he accepted Jesus Christ completely into his life through Athletes in Action.

It surprised many of his friends and family given that he was already baptized and was a Christian.

“I grew up Christian,” Hunt said. “I was acting like a Christian but I hadn’t (truly accepted) Jesus Christ.”

In 1996 he accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior and was re-baptized.

Eventually after working in the business world he pursed theology disciplines at Lincoln Christian University in Lincoln, Ill.

As an athlete and then managing hospital wellness programs  he never hesitated to share his  Christian beliefs.

Hunt said he believes Christians sometimes are lazy or don’t want to go out of their comfort zone to share the Good News. It is why many take what they learn in their faith and “put it in a box” when they leave the confines of a church or their family.

“They may fear that they don’t have all the answers,” Hunt said.

Hunt, though, said that is OK.

“You don’t have to have all the answers,” Hunt said, indicating faith is a journey.

Moore and Hunt are cut from the same cloth in that both believe effective pastors “entertain.”

“If you looked up entertain in the dictionary you will find one of the definitions is (essentially) to teach,” Moore said.

Both men share the view that learning the lessons of the Bible should not be drudgery. Moore noted the best teachers in schools are also the most entertaining.

“They find ways to capture your attention,” Moore said.

Moore hasn’t zeroed in on how the next chapter of his life will unfold — it could include serving as an interim pastor — but he did promise his wife Grace that he’d “cool my jets for six  months” before tackling anything.

Moore emphasized that both he and his wife were blessed to have wonderful experiences helping Crossroads Grace Community take root and grow.

The 66-year-old Moore noted that some have wondered why he needs to step down. He added it wasn’t because he was getting tired.

“I still have some gas left in the tank,” Moore quipped.

Instead he wanted to make sure that someone who could relate easier to younger people would be able to move Crossroads forward.

Moore’s confident the 37-year-old Hunt is the pastor that can do that.

One area that Hunt plans to focus on is to stress the need for men to take leadership roles putting God first then spouse and children so they can lead their families by example.

He noted that men are often outnumbered in churches and that’s not necessarily a good thing.

He’d like to involve more men in the church including single young men so that when they do marry they will be ready to step into leadership roles understanding the need to be respectful and responsible.

The Iowa native and his wife Cherie have two children; Aniston, 6, and Easton, 3. They have bought a home in Escalon.

“I love music,” Hunt, who plays guitar, noted.

He also lifts weights, mountain bikes and just recently got into road cycling.

Crossroads Grace is at 1505 Moffat Blvd. in Manteca. Worship services are Sundays at 9 and 10:45 a.m. while Celebrate Recovery is Mondays at 7 p.m.

For more information call 209.239.5566 or go to