Hello and thank you for visiting the website of Wesley UMC. Becoming involved with a faith community is a big step. Much thought, prayer and discernment are essential before a place that you can call your “church home” becomes a part of you.
I would like to share a little bit about myself, so that you can get a glimpse of who I am, what my style of ministry is, what my theological views are, and what I believe is the essence of our faith. These of course will not be the views and styles of everyone at Wesley church, nor should they be, for we are a diverse church in at least two significant ways, namely, theologically and racially. Being the Pastor of a diverse church like Wesley is a very rewarding blessing, as diversity is both welcomed and celebrated among our people.
I am a second career pastor, meaning I had secular jobs for over 26 years before becoming an Ordained Clergy in the United Methodist Church. In my time before ministry I worked as a baker for Sunshine Biscuits Inc.. Yes, I baked Hydrox Cookies and Cheez- Its!
After studying Civil Engineering technology for two years, I took on new employment at Raritan River Steel Co. in 1980 working in the metallurgical services department in the tensile lab. A few years later I was transferred to the chemistry lab where I spent the next 13 years. Through those years I earned my BS degree in chemistry from Georgian Court College.
Through all of those years I had two wonderful church homes, Christ UMC, in Lakewood, and the Jackson UMC, in Jackson, NJ. These churches were formative experiences for both me and my wife Lisa as my call to ministry was becoming clearer. Finally in 1994, I approached my pastor about how I felt God was calling me. Shortly thereafter, in January 1995, I began working on my Master of Divinity at Drew Theological Seminary. I graduated from Drew and became an ordained minister in 2000. The rest as they say is history.
My wife Lisa and I have been married for 42 years. We have two children, Douglas, married to Kelsey, and Christopher engaged to Kasey, and two grandchildren, Christopher and Elijah.
When it comes to faith I believe that faith is never something you just do ritually or habitually, but a yearning deep inside to be connected to God and each other. My style for ministry reflects this as it is relaxed, and informal. I am committed to doing church that is relational to people even if that means doing something “out of the box” from time to time. Worship at Wesley often reflects this. I give children a part in worship when the occasions arise. It is not unusual to see children help with communion, taking the morning offering, or being involved illustrating my Sunday message.
On the theological spectrum I describe myself as “orthodox, liberal with progressive leanings, and unapologetically evangelical”. For the record, theological stances are secondary to the way I believe we are to be the church. For me, the primary way to be the church is in how well we love. Jesus doesn’t care if you are a liberal, conservative, progressive or an evangelical, but how well do you love others. Nevertheless, we have an understanding and a way of interpreting scripture, and Christians will not always agree, but we are all called to love unconditionally.
Now you know a little bit about me. As you explore our Website, we invite you to take the next step. Come, visit and worship with us! We may not be the church for everyone, but I truly believe that Wesley offers a place of comfort and blessing to all who will call this place their “church home” Welcome!