Pastor's First Month at Fellowship

Here we are at the first of a new year, 2020.  For me, 2019 was a year that seemed to start out slowly, but then everything that seemed to take forever suddenly materialized quicker and more completely than I could have imagined.  Here I am, Pastor Roger Templeton, new pastor at Fellowship Church of the Brethren in Martinsburg, WV -- part-time – for one whole month.

Five years ago, my wife and I sold our home in Tyrone, Pennsylvania and moved to Catlett, Virginia. We moved so that Yvonne could be close to our only daughter, Jessica, to babysit her newborn son, Gryphon Sawyer, our first grandchild.  Jessica, and her husband, Trey, live in Nokesville, VA. And now, there are three grandchildren to babysit so there is still a need to maintain a home in Virginia.

Five years ago, I retired with 37 years of service from my job as an Information Technology Specialist at the Altoona, PA office of the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board.  I also resigned as pastor of the Hollidaysburg First Church of God where I served as pastor for 8 years.  I’ve missed the pastoral role, not the other.

In Virginia, Yvonne and I found a new church home at Midland Church of the Brethren where I taught mid-week Bible classes for three out of the last five years and spoke twice on Sundays once a month – twice a month for the last year.  It was good to have an outlet for ministry but not quite fulfilling enough for me.

It was mid-September when Gene Hagenberger first contacted me to ask if I might be willing to consider a call to pastor a church part time in Martinsburg, WV.  He sent me a copy of the Fellowship Church of the Brethren profile September 26th.   An interview with the church board and pastoral search team was scheduled for Tuesday, October 8th, shortly before District Conference.  This was followed by another meeting two weeks after District Conference where it was agreed that I would speak as a pastoral candidate on November 17th and that if called by the congregation I would start December 1, the first Sunday of Advent.  And here I am, enjoying being here. 

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