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From the Pastor

July 2023


 

This is my first message to you as your pastor. It was suggested that I should devote this to giving you some information about my calling and some biographical highlights. I will not claim to be modest, but I hope you will forgive this self-focus.

 

I was born June 26, 1953 and baptized as an infant in the Evangelical United Brethren denomination. In 1968 this denomination, which started as German speaking version of Methodism, merged with the United Methodist Church and I became a Methodist thereby. Unlike many who were 15 in 1968 I had a high interest in theology and engaged in lengthy discussions with our Minister. Both he and my uncle who was a pastor encouraged me to take that career path. I developed an interest in law, politics and the military about the same time. Having gone in that direction I was admitted to practice law in 1979 and contend until last summer. At the same time I became a naval officer, through a somewhat complicated course, getting my commission in 1977 and retiring in 2004. I served in theater in both Gulf Wars and am service connected disabled due to a head injury from a helicopter incident at sea and Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome from several experiences. My political career started as a Congressional Aide in 1979 through 2007, with eighteen years as an elected official. I was also an appointed official of the Taft Administration in Columbus,

 

During my other careers I served as Chaplain of many organizations and filled in for the preacher at my church over the years. Early in my time at Maineville, I started seminary at Asbury, but a neck surgery and fall during recovery ended that attempt. I was also by then completely turned away from ordination the United Methodist Church. On the night of Disaffiliation and vote to join the Global Methodist Church, Larry Smith made the point that ministers were scarce in both denominations. I felt at that instance as I was seated in our church the call of the Holy Spirit to return to seminary and become a pastor as soon as possible Being Pastor here was certainly an early goal and Debbie and I are honored you have accepted us. I did, however, come to the understanding that God wanted me to be open to other assignments, which we were, God led us all to the place where this is in fact where He wants me to pastor. Often when we resist His Will conflict can arise, but we can all be content and serve His purposes.

 

Debbie and I were married November 14, 1998. I had two daughters and she had three sons so we were a little like the Brady Bunch. Only two were young enough to still live at home. All are grown now, of course, and we have eight grandchildren living in Maine, Virginia, Michigan and Cincinnati. Unfortunately, my oldest daughter Jennifer, who was beset by mental illness her entire life, killed herself on July 5, 2022 in Iowa City, Iowa. There is not a minute of any day that I do not grieve. We were able to see her before she passed away, but she was comatose by the time we got there. I know many of you have lost loved ones so you will find an empathetic ear in me.

 

God Bless, Eric Minamyer

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