Roger Templeton - Our Pastor
On November 24, 2019 the Church Council of Fellowship Church of the Brethren affirmed the Search Team’s recommendation to call Roger Templeton as the church's part-time Senior Pastor beginning December 1, 2019. Prior to that, members of the Church Board, the Mid-Atlantic District Executive Minister and Manager of District Operations met with Roger for an agreement meeting. It was agreed that, if called, Roger would serve in leadership and partnership with the church board. Pastor Roger's goal, as agreed to, was church “body-building” – spiritually, and numerically – strategic thinking, and planning. His purpose would be to help the church focus on, identify, and claim, mission and purpose. He would be expected to be open to both old, tried-and-true, and new approaches in ministry and mission. His primary responsibilities would include preaching, support of worship, leadership development, and to envision and help implement new approaches and programs for ministry.
Pastor Roger and Yvonne Templeton
Pastor Roger began his call to serve Fellowship Church of the Brethren on December 1, 2019. Roger Templeton and his wife, Yvonne, have been married for 51 years and own a home in Catlett, VA. where they moved in January of 2015.
Before moving to Virginia Roger worked for the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board in Altoona, PA as a District Manager and then Information Technology Specialist for the last 20 years of a 37 year career. Roger retired from the Railroad Retirement Board in January 2015. The same month, he also resigned from his part-time position as pastor of the Hollidaysburg First Church of God in Hollidaysburg, PA. where he served for eight years.
Roger and Yvonne have one daughter, Jessica, married to Trey Brockett for 10 years. They have three children, Gryphon - age 5, Gabriel - age 3 , and Maggie - not yet 2. Their move to Virginia allowed Yvonne to be available to babysit the grandchildren while their mother, Jessica, worked. After Maggie was born Jessica decided not to return to work so Yvonne's babysitting duties are not as intense as they once were. She now has free time to be in Martinsburg with Roger on weekends.
Roger felt God's calling on his life at an early age and attended Northeast Bible College in Greenlane, PA directly after graduating from high school. Financial difficulties and a lot of self doubt about ministry led Roger to drop out of Bible College to see if his faith was sufficient to thrive in the real world. He believes God led him to a two year enlistment in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1968, during the Viet Nam conflict. A severe case of strep throat put him in the hospital near the end of infantry training in North Carolina, followed by a tonsillectomy in California. In the middle of that Roger and Yvonne got married. (Roger blames that decision on the high fever from strep that put him in the hospital). Roger was then selected to attend three months of Vietnamese language school in Monterey, CA. before deployment to Viet Nam.
All the above delayed Roger's deployment to Viet Nam as a machine gunner by about five months where he was assigned to First Battalion 9th Marines. Just two months later the battalion was reassigned from Viet Nam to Okinawa as the first Marine unit withdrawn from the Viet Nam conflict under order from President Nixon. After withdrawing to Okinawa the battalion stood in readiness, part of the time aboard ship, to assist other units that would follow. Roger was able to get a job reassignment as a chaplain's assistant aboard ship. Since the battalion had a catholic chaplain but no protestant chaplain Roger also served as protestant lay leader for the battalion.
Roger returned to Bible college for one semester after release from military service, worked in an auto body shop for six months, worked as a debit life insurance agent for Prudential and then as a life agent for Connecticut General Insurance. Roger and Yvonne started a successful youth group at the Emmaus Assembly of God Church, a small home mission work, before deciding to move to Springfield, MO.
Roger finished college with a Bachelor degree in Biblical studies from Evangel College in Springfield, MO. While living in Springfield and attending college Roger became a youth pastor at Mt. Calvary Assembly of God in Strafford, MO. The church had regular Sunday attendance of about 150, ran a bus ministry with three buses and had a large number of youth. Roger began a children's worship service, taught the youth how to plan and lead the children's worship, started and taught a new converts Sunday school class, started and led three weekly youth Bible study groups, and helped the pastor to start and produce a weekly Saturday evening telecast called "Expect a Miracle."
After graduating from Evangel College Roger got a job with Missouri Division of Family Services as an Income Maintenance and later WIN Services caseworker. Roger went on to pursue graduate classes in Guidance and Counseling at Southwest Missouri State University, took under graduate prerequisite business courses, and then earned an MBA from Drury College Breech School of Business nights while working as a Contact Representative for the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board.
Career opportunities with the Railroad Retirement Board allowed Roger and Yvonne to move to Omaha, NE., Atlanta, GA., and eventually Altoona, PA. In each new location Roger found new opportunities to fulfill his calling to stand in the gap at small churches that needed help.