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Trending Local: The Growing Role of Local Pastors

Three crosses stand above the cemetery at Israel United Methodist Church near Montrose, W.Va. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS

Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS

Three crosses stand above the cemetery at Israel United Methodist Church near Montrose, W.Va.

Local pastors — non-ordained, and in most cases without a seminary degree — are growing in number and taking on more roles in The United Methodist Church.

United Methodist News Services’s Sam Hodges provides coverage of the overall trend, the rapid growth of part-time local pastors, the use of local pastors in Hispanic outreach and the challenges faced by local pastors in in the Central Conferences.

He also profiles six part-time local pastors of the West Virginia Conference, including a grocer, a corrections officer and the 2013 state Teacher of the Year.​
 

News Stories

Slideshow: A look at local pastors

For a series about the growing importance of licensed local pastors, photographer Mike DuBose traveled around West Virginia and Kentucky and captured images of them in their churches. View

The Rev. Arturo “Artie” Cadar is a full-time local pastor recently appointed to lead CrossRoads United Methodist Church in Houston. Photo courtesy of the Rev. Arturo Cadar.

Local pastors lead Hispanic outreach

Conferences turn to non-elder clergy for help in reaching fast-growing demographic. Read More

Central conferences depend on local pastors

Challenges abound, but non-ordained clergy ‘swing the arms’ in faith. Read More

The Rev. Mark Windley (right) prays with parishioner Jada Roarx at Amazing Grace Community of Faith in Louisville, Ky. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

Part-time pastors claiming more pulpits

As ordained elder numbers decline, The United Methodist Church is depending more on bivocational and other part-time local pastors. Read More

The Rev. Arlene Jackson (speaking into microphone), a full-time local pastor, led the downtown Fort Myers campus of Grace Church to strong growth. Jackson recently got appointed to start a campus of Grace, a United Methodist church, in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Photo courtesy of Grace Church.

Local pastors on the rise

Non-ordained, non-seminary-trained clergy are growing in number and serving in a variety of roles in The United Methodist Church. Read More