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Dennis Swanberg, America’s Minister of Encouragement, to visit Sherwood Baptist Church

Pastor turned comedian to visit Albany church

Dennis Swanberg, pastor turned comedian, will be appearing at Sherwood Baptist Church on July 13. (Special photo)

Dennis Swanberg, pastor turned comedian, will be appearing at Sherwood Baptist Church on July 13. (Special photo)

ALBANY — Dennis Swanberg, “America’s Minister of Encouragement,” will be making appearances at the morning and evening services at Sherwood Baptist Church on July 13.

The Texas-born pastor turned comedian and author, also known as “The Swan,” is expected at the church’s services at 9:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. His list of impersonations include Don Knotts, Walter Brennan, Muhammad Ali, Ronald Reagan and Billy Graham as well as a host of Seasame Street characters, which he has been known to combine in his act with stories of growing up, families and the funny side of church, his website biography says.

Expected to appear at more than 150 churches, conferences, businesses and concert events this year, he has authored seven books including “Swan’s Soup & Salad” and “Why A.D.H.D. Doesn’t Mean Disaster.” He has video productions including “Back-to-Back with Laughter,” “Loosen Up, Laugh & Live” and “Smilin’ with the Saints” as well as TV and radio shows entitled “The Dennis Swanberg Show,” “Swan’s Place” and “Dennis Swanberg Comedy Hour.”

Now living in Monroe, La., Swanberg is a 1972 graduate of John H. Reagan High School in Austin, Texas. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Greek and Religion from Baylor University in Waco, Texas, in 1976. He earned his Master of Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas in 1980, and received his Doctor of Ministry in 1986.

He has a wife, Lauree Alica, and two sons, Chad Dennison and Dusty Wayne.

He served in various pastorates including Rogers, Texas, Saginaw, Texas, Hot Springs, Ark., and West Monroe, La., while still holding his “sideline” entertainment profession.

“I try to bring people laughter, but my advice to them is always that joy is a choice,” said Swanberg in his website biography. “Happiness is dependent upon what happens in your life, but joy is a choice you can make every single day. It takes an act of your will … even if you don’t feel joyful at the moment. And it takes dying to yourself and coming alive in the lives of others around you. I want to motivate my audiences to have courage, to be strong, to look for the moments in life that make them realize they are an important part of this world. Do your best to go out there risking. We live in a world where you can afford to fail and try again. I want people to realize that this is a great life to enjoy. And the one way you can enjoy life is by helping other people enjoy it too.”

Sherwood is located at 2201 Whispering Pines Road. For more information, call (229) 883-1910.