Beldor Mennonite Church
MDiv – Eastern Mennonite Seminary, 2013.
B.S. Forest Management – Oregon State University, 1975.
Preaching, pastoral visitation, organizational planning
Mid-Atlantic and Pacific Northwest
2010-to-present. Pastor, Beldor Mennonite Church, near Elkton, Virginia. We are a small church of 35 members in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains near Elkton, Virginia. The position is half-time and bi-vocational. I also do consulting work with churches and the Virginia Conference in organizational planning, and assist the Appalachian Trail by leading invasive plant control efforts. Beldor church is part of the Mennonite Church – USA, which is part of the Anabaptist tradition, emphasizing believer baptism, nonviolence, daily relevance of Jesus’ sermon on the mount, and service/mission to the world. Duties include a full range of pastoral responsibilities.
2012-2013 (6 months). Chair, Task Force for a Sustainable Virginia Mennonite Conference. Our task was to analyze budget projections and match appropriate programming in light of VMC values, vision and mission. This ad hoc committee was commissioned by the Conference Office.
2011-2012 (8 months). Consultant to Springdale Mennonite Church. Utilizing appreciative inquiry, I led the church covenant team and associates of the leadership council in learning from their church history. Through the process, church leaders were able to identify ministry gifting, discern God’s trajectory within the congregation, and set mission priorities.
2008-2009 (9 months). Pastoral Intern, Harrisonburg Mennonite Church, Virginia. My duties included pastoral visitation, Christian education curriculum development, teaching, and preaching. My mentor and supervisor was Mark Keller, Associate Pastor for Pastoral Care and Missions.
My passion and joy include preparation and delivery of sermons, worship planning, pastoral visitation, Christian education, and organizational planning. I am blessed in the context of church and family.
I did not feel a call to pastoral ministry as a teen and young man. As a result, I studied for and entered into my career of forestry/ecology. I knew great joy in that time, serving in various capacities for 35 years.
As a young man I felt called to prepare and lead Sunday school lessons and volunteer for various committee assignments in the churches that my wife, Emily, and I attended. Through the years I served as an elder, deacon, SS teacher, finance committee treasurer, nursery coordinator(!), and worship committee member, among others.
In about 2000, I became a Children’s Leader in Bible Study Fellowship, something that I did for seven years. During that time I increasingly felt the draw to work toward a pastoral assignment. I begin taking seminary classes at EMS in 2005 and was accepted into the MDiv program in 2007.
In 2010 I was asked to be the pastoral at Beldor Mennonite Church, which I gladly accepted. I was ordained by Virginia Mennonite Conference of MC USA in December 2012.
Ideal Ministry Situation
I have come to greatly appreciate the wonderful opportunity of Christian fellowship within small churches. I would like to continue my pastoral role in small churches while I offer my organizational planning skills to churches and area organizations.
I worked at a pace that allowed me to finish in eight years. At that pace, each semester has given me a delightful offering of ministry tools. Every class has given me information and understandings to help me be a better pastor. I am very thankful for the time and would like to thank all the faculty and staff that have given me such a wonderful experience.
All the classes are worthy. For my personality and interests, I especially enjoyed those that prepared me to be a better preacher and teacher.
Advice for Prospective Students
God helped Jeremiah understand that he was not too young to be a preacher and prophet. God called him out to serve. I and my many older classmates can testify that we are not too old to be pastors, preachers, and prophets. Whatever God has moved you to learn and do, then do it with joy. You’ve been called by a loving, Almighty God.