When did you first come to Central UMC?
I was an Associate Pastor in charge of Youth Ministry, Christian Education and Evangelism at Grosse Pointe UMC when I first walked into the building of Waterford Central Church. It was Enabling Day when our District Churches got together for training, worship and fellowship. Herb Glenn was the pastor. I remember thinking what a beautiful setting for a church and ministry! I stood at the end of the hallway on the east end of the building looking over the expansive yard, wetlands and woods thinking, “This place is huge!”
Fast forward 29 years and I’m in Chicago taking my first two classes for a Doctorate of Ministry Degree. It was Friday afternoon, January 11, 2013. I received a call from our District Superintendent, Melanie Carrie, and she shared with me that she wanted me to consider a move. I knew that four large churches were open; the retirements of the Senior Pastors had already been announced. Melanie said, “It’s a unanimous decision of the Bishop and Cabinet that you should become Pastor of Waterford Central.”
Remember, I was in Chicago at school, not scheduled to come back for another week. The decision was to be made within the next 48 hours. Ruth drove out (from Troy) to see the church, the parsonage and surrounding area. We talked and prayed and met that deadline saying, “Yes!” It’s been three very busy and fruitful years and we are thankful for the acceptance we’ve received and the relationships we’ve formed. This is a very close-knit, although large church family and the care and support we’ve received that that the members offer one another can be extended to anyone who becomes part of our fellowship!
What is your favorite thing about Central UMC?
The people! Although the membership of Central Church is large and diverse, there is an acceptance and care for one another that is truly reflective of God’s love and transcends any difference among us!
If you could vacation anywhere – where would you go?
I would love to do a European tour inclusive of Germany and/or the Mediterranean. I do want to go back to Paris with Ruth for a week or two… taking in the museums, food and beauty of the area.
What was your first job?
I grew up on a farm, “ so it was working with my father on the farm. I learned to drive on a stick shift Ford pick-up (“three on a tree”) when I was eleven. By the time I was fourteen or fifteen; I was driving grain trucks to the elevator.
What’s on your IPod right now?
Some of my favorite Christian groups: DC Talk, Relient K and Casting Crowns. Because I once shared my I-tunes account with my daughter, Sarah, I also have Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift (gotta love TSwift!).
What inspires you?
Reconciled relationships and mended marriages. It takes a lot of love, understanding and forgiveness. Easily said but difficult to accomplish; difficult, not impossible. Matthew 19:26.
What’s one book that has impacted you?
What? The Bible!
What is your favorite snack?
Crackers! So you put a bit of peanut butter in a bowl with a dollop of jelly and with a cracker you scoop up some peanut butter and then a bit of jelly. Pop it into your mouth and repeat!
What is your biggest challenge?
Right now, finding the time and energy to finish up my doctoral studies. It’s a lot more work than I originally thought it would be.
What famous person do people tell you that you look like?
Ugh… Jason Alexander! (My mother used to tell me that!)
What is your favorite season and why?
Autumn. Both Ruth’s and my birthdays are in late September. I love the colors and the crisp air as the days get cooler. It’s a time of anticipation of Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas!
What was your childhood ambition?
I really wanted to be a medical doctor in obstetrics… bringing babies into the world!
What’s something quirky about you?
I have a unique – “ if not quirky hobby – I used to build doll house furniture. I actually own two doll houses and when I finish my doctorate, I am looking forward to rekindling that hobby.
What is something that God has been teaching you lately that you didn’t know before?
What it truly means to receive God’s grace and how that grace is extended to others through me. I’ve always believed in the importance of being a witness in the world, however, it is critical to know that the world is watching us (the church) and lives can be transformed by what they see!