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

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.​