Pat Hrbacek was appointed to head the Colorado Springs branch on September 10. He follows Louis Grams, who has served as the branch's head since 2000.
“The vision, pastoral care and guidance Louis possesses have done so very much to build this newer branch,” said Kevin Ranaghan, chair of the branch relations council. “There is no way to express adequately everyone’s gratitude to him.
“Louis has faced health problems in recent years, including a number of surgeries and recoveries. Pat has been serving as the branch’s acting head for a number of months, a job he has done very well. Please pray for Pat as he continues these responsibilities.”
Pat and his wife Kara moved to Colorado Springs from Servant branch in 2000, arriving a few months after the Gramses, who also came from Servant Branch. (Kara is the daughter of Jim and Carol Rolland of Servant Branch). The Hrbaceks have four daughters. In addition to leading the branch, Pat works as an attorney and is a partner in a Colorado Springs law firm. Kara is a stay-at-home mother and part-time high school humanities teacher.
“Kara and I have been the recipients of so much love and service from our brothers and sisters in Colorado Springs,” Pat says. “So it’s an honor and a privilege for me to serve in this new way, especially following Louis, who has been a model servant in this position.”
In 2006, Louis was bending over to work in his garden when some screws in his back (from a previous surgery) came loose, triggering major damage to his autonomic nervous system. He says that doctors understand little about how to repair the autonomic nervous system, but a number of specialists can treat his various symptoms—blood pressure swings, breathing trouble and fatigue among them. He relies on a portable oxygen machine to assist with his breathing.
Louis is quick to add that his doctors have uncovered no connection between his current health problems and the Churg-Strauss syndrome that the Lord healed him of in 1997. He continues to work for Kevin and the branch relations office and he’s a member of the Colorado Springs branch leaders team. He is writing music, and beginning to compile the many musical compositions he has penned over the years.
“When I was sick before [in the mid-1990s] I was so preoccupied with being sick that it was all I could think about. This is a different experience. I feel well some of the time, and when I feel sick I find lots of grace to do what I can do,” Louis says. “The Lord has more for me to do and I’m looking forward to what’s next.”