People are always wanting to know about the person who is going to be their new Pastor. Let me share with you a few things about Kathy and me.
I grew up on a fruit farm in Berrien Springs. My father was a policeman, eventually Chief of Police in Berrien Springs. My mom was a division manager at Sears in Benton Harbor. Up until I was 23, I had all four of my grandparents and lived within a mile and half of them. I have 1 brother, Ed and his wife who live in Berrien Springs. They are both retired.
I grew up in Hinchman UMC just outside of Berrien Springs. My parents and grandparents were active members of the Church. In the Spring of 1967 after my third friend from High School was killed in Vietnam, I became angry with God and left the Church. I started college at Northern Michigan that Fall. In the Fall of 1969, I transferred to Western Michigan. There I ran into people from High School who had turned to God and they started to talk to me about Jesus and faith. In December of 1970 I committed my life to Jesus by inviting him in. I felt called to ministry but waited for 2 years. I applied in mid December 1972 for the term beginning January 1973.
I entered seminary in January of 1973. I started with a student charge in Indiana in 1974. I graduated in 1976 and took my first full time appointment at Camden, Montgomery, and Stokes Chapel. In 1986 I got married. The marriage ended in 1992. I have served in various areas of West Michigan. In 1998 I was sent to Grand Rapids South Church. While there I met Kathy and in January 2000 we got married at the church my mother attended in Florida.
Kathy grew up in Wyoming and spent most of her life in the Grand Rapids area. Her father worked for GM and her mother worked at the Credit Union. Kathy got married fairly soon after graduating from high school and had three sons: Greg, Dan, and Tom. She currently owns and operates a small business in Holland, Wee Dollhouse Shop, and lives part of the week in Holland.
In December of 2000, we added to our family when we took into our home 3 foster children from Sudan. Elizabeth and her two brothers, Akech and Mayen came to live with us. They were 17, 15, and 14. A year and a half later their other two brothers, Ajak and Chol, came to live with us. They are all part of the Lost Boys of Sudan.
We currently have 22 grandchildren spread out from Arizona to St. Ignace to Africa. There are 2 of them that we have not met. Greg lives in Holland and has 3 children living with their mother in St. Ignace and the oldest is in the Guard, going to school, living in the Grand Rapids area.. Dan and his wife Kate have 3 children and live in Arizona. Tom and his wife Barb have 7 children and live in Coloma, Michigan. Elizabeth and her husband John have 3 children and live in the Grand Rapids area. Akech and his wife from Africa have 2 children and live in Minnesota. Ajak and his wife from Africa have 3 children and live in Grand Rapids.
Those are just the basic facts. The details will follow as we get to know one another. We truly do look forward to getting to know you in the time ahead.
East Nelson United Methodist Church
East Nelson United Methodist Church 9024 18 Mile Rd NE Cedar Springs, MI 49319 US
Copyright © 2023 East Nelson United Methodist Church - All Rights Reserved.
Sunday Service 9:30 am