New Pastor of the Pleasant Valley Bible Church, Rocco Gammone, is excited to start the next chapter of his life in Bethel. Submitted image.

REGION — Before for May of this year, Rocco Gammone had never been to Maine. Now, just over month after moving to Bethel, he’s already getting involved in the community — something he takes a lot of pride in.

The new Pleasant Valley Bible Church Pastor has already volunteered for the Bethel Rec Board, assisted with stage and sound at the River Rock Festival in Newry and plans to reach out to other area organizations to see if they need any help.

“I want to be helpful to the neighborhood in any way I can,” Gammone said.

He comes to Bethel after spending much of his life in Brooklyn, N.Y. and the past six years in Pennsylvania.

Heavily involved in church from a young age, Gammone always had an interest in pursuing a career as a pastor. He started out by helping with the children’s ministry and when he got a bit older, started playing music with worship teams, playing drums and piano. Eventually he and his wife started an outreach ministry where they would book local bands to come and play for the community. People would come and play games, listen to music and indulge in the free food being offered.

“It was a good way to meet people in the neighborhood and give the gospel through music and a message,” Gammone said.


He did the outreach ministry both in Brooklyn and Pennsylvania, but still had his eyes set on becoming a pastor. The next big step toward doing that was going through Bible college. After earning his degree, he started searching for internships or pastoral jobs and ended coming across a missions organization called Village Missions. The organization hires pastors and places them in rural churches all throughout North America. After going through the application and interviewing process, the next step was finding Gammone a church.

“Part of the mission’s organization is that you have to be willing to go anywhere,” Gammone said.

Despite the uncertainty of what was coming next, both Gammone’s wife and kids were on board with the plan. Soon after he got a call from a district representative saying “we’re thinking Bethel, Maine.”

“I was like, alright, I’ve never been there before. I think furthest north I had been was Connecticut,” Gammone said.

They arrived in Maine on May 26 and have wasted no time exploring the area, visiting Step Falls and Greenwood beach, the latter of which his kids especially enjoyed.

“It’s beautiful. We love it so far,” Gammone said.


He noted how friendly people have been toward him and his family during their first month here, and definitely plans to return the favor. He’ll preaching Sunday mornings, but emphasized that he’ll be there for any church member’s needs.

He’s dealt with mostly small churches throughout his life, so the size and atmosphere of Pleasant Valley is something he is fairly used to. He also prefers a smaller group of people because of the “family-like atmosphere.”

“You can be accessible to everyone, it’s easier to connect to everyone,” Gammone said. “Especially being a first-time pastor it’s good to be in a smaller church.”

Currently, Pleasant Valley has about 25-30 core members.

He takes over for Dave Fraher, who had served as the church’s pastor for about 10 years.

Regular services are Sunday at 10 a.m. The church is located at 407 Flat Road in West Bethel.

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: