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‘Pest Pastor’ Makes Home Connections

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Snakes aren't the focus of Believe Pest Control, but can be removed if Jay Sloan is already responding to a call, as was the case here in the company's early days. Looking on is his wife, Ronda. Photo courtesy of Jay Sloan

SPRING HILL, Kan. (BP) — Jay Sloan had a calling so clear, it bugged him into doing something about it.

Sloan has spent more than a year getting inside homes as the owner/operator of Believe Pest Control. At a client dinner last week, he formally announced the official launch of Believe Church this Easter. It wasn’t a surprise, as Sloan and his wife of 28 years, Ronda, have been active in the community with Believe Church’s launch team.

However, relationships established over a pesky wasp nest or safeguarding against termites will no doubt go to a deeper level. He’s learned some things in more than 15 years in pest control through lessons that prove quite beneficial for someone in a pastoral role.

“The need is universal,” he said. “Everybody at one time or another has had problems with a pest.

“It’s also an intimate problem. People are inviting you into their home to show something that they typically don’t want others to know about. They’re letting you into their world.”

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Years ago as a 34-year-old pastor in California, Sloan needed another income stream to provide for his wife and four kids. That led to part-time work with some pest control companies.

Six years later he started his own. Sloan’s father took a second home mortgage to help get it off the ground. A year later Sloan had paid him back.

From there, things got busy. Seven years with no vacation while serving as a pastor, worship leader and running a full-time pest control business led to burnout and Sloan stepping away from ministry in 2017.

He focused on recovery and work. While the pandemic in 2020 shuttered many businesses, it provided a boon for Sloan. Pests can’t run rampant and infestations need to be dealt with, so companies like his received the crucial “essential” label from the government.

“People were working from home and they noticed more ants and spiders,” he said. “Our business doubled.”

Eventually, he eased back into volunteering for ministry. In 2021 the opportunity opened up to move to the Kansas City area and near family, so he sold his business.

They launched Believe Pest Control in Spring Hill, the town’s first locally owned pest control company, and spent a year building inroads as well as financial security for his family. The family also attended New City Church, a Southern Baptist congregation in Shawnee.

Soon, discussions were happening about New City helping start a church in Spring Hill, south of Shawnee, with Sloan as the pastor.

New City Church and Believe Church are both Send Network churches with the North American Mission Board. New City is also the sending church for Believe Church.

In recent months, Believe Church has put itself in the community through outreaches like a block party and fall carnival. The Sloans’ work through their ministry as well as their company is notable.

“Jay and Ronda are a model for future planters concerning how to plant a church in a sustainable way in an underserved community,” said Matt Maestas, Send Network church-planting catalyst for Kansas City. “By first engaging their city through starting a business, they added value and addressed a real need before they ever thought of having a worship service.

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“My hope is that increasing numbers of planters will see what Jay and Ronda are doing and consider it a preferred way of planting in the future.”

The couple respond to calls together, so clients get to know them both. They’ve also experienced the job together, as in stubborn wasp nests, spiders, ants, mice and SWAT teams.

Yes, that happened.