By: Rebecca Miller
Settling into a new community is part of the life of United Methodist pastors, as they tend to move around, giving churches an opportunity for some “new eyes, and ideas” to keep the body growing. St. Paul’s new pastor, Charles Case or “Pastor Chuck” as he likes to be called, his wife Christine and their two children moved into the Misty Lane parsonage on June 27, 2019.
“The settling in at the house is going well,” Christine said. “We still have some boxes around, but they will get unpacked soon. We are enjoying finding our way around the community, choosing our favorite stores and places to eat.” They haven’t gotten to Ft. Wayne or Toledo yet, but find themselves enjoying Angola and Bryan. Charles and Christine both shared that they are slowly getting to know the members of the congregation and are looking forward to developing some great relationships. If the Vacation Bible School, which was the first thing going when they arrived, is any indication, it is going to be a wonderful connection.
“Getting a pie in the face wasn’t the first thing on my bucket list as their new pastor,” Case said with a chuckle, “but when the girls won a contest in VBS, they chose my wife to throw a Chocolate Cream pie in my face!” What a way to start! “I feel like we are connecting quickly. It takes time to match all the names and faces, but as summer is ending, we are settling in,” he added.
The Case family moved to Montpelier from Chesapeake, Ohio, which is a rural area on the Ohio River, just across from Huntington, West Virginia. They were there at the Chesapeake United Methodist Church from 2010 until the move to Montpelier. Case attended Asbury Seminary In Kentucky for school, but all of his pastoral appointments have been in Ohio. He started at Asbury in 1999 and got his Master’s of Divinity in 2003. “My goal was to become a pastor” he said. “As I approached graduation day, I got a call and we were in Chillicothe from 2003 to 2010.”
Charles and Christine have been married since December 3, 2005 and as they celebrate their 14th anniversary they were amazed to hear that there are three couples in their new church who have celebrated or will celebrate this year, their 69th anniversaries. That speaks to the history of this church and how many people, including the organist, Kelly Michael, have gone their for their whole lives or much of it. Case considers himself blessed to be called to this church.
Their son, Nathan, who is 11 now and in 6th grade at Montpelier, was born while they were in Chillicothe. Nine year old daughter, Sarah, was born in Chesapeake and is in 3rd grade now. Case said that he and his son share a love for trains and they were thrilled to find out that the Montpelier schools’ teams are called the Locomotives!
Pastor Case shared how he has grown personally through the years and one aspect of that growth about which he speaks with great animation came from the music of 80’s Christian singer Wayne Watson. “He took an old song called ‘The Touch of the Master’s Hand’ and made it famous when his album went national in 1987. I was 16 when I heard it and I talked my parents into taking me to a live concert. His music changed my life and it still challenges and encourages me,” Pastor Case said.
Born in Damascus, Ohio, a town near Youngstown, Case grew up there and, from a short press release we learn, he initially pursued a career in radio, with a special interest in Christian Broadcasting. He attended Mt. Vernon Nazarene College where he got his Bachelor’s degree in business administration and communications in 1994. He worked in radio for the next five years at radio stations in Zanesville and Newark. During that time he also served as Lay Leader and Sunday School teacher at the Nashport United Methodist Church. “It was during that time that I sensed a new calling emerging,” he stated.
“While I loved what I was doing, my awareness grew that God had given me gifts and graces for more than just being a voice behind a microphone.” He left the radio world to head off to Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. He learned to love the state and the work that he was pursuing there. Since his graduation he has served in three churches in Chillicothe, Londonderry (which he pastored part time from 2005-2010 while full time at the other church) and Chesapeake.
His wife, Christine is also very active in Church life, and is pursuing ordination as a Deacon in the United Methodist Church. She is a commissioned Deacon in the Methodist church and has served in a number of ministries such as running a thrift store, teaching Sunday School and preaching The Word. Right now she is settling in with family, so is on a transitional leave till she decides she is ready to do something else. She has already signed up in the new church to teach 3rd and 4th Grade Sunday School starting in September. “My call is to Word and Service,” she explained. “I help with communion, can read The Word in services and I get to bring the church to the world and vice versa…any kind of ministry which that would target.”
“We are looking forward to the Fall routine here at church,” Pastor Case said. “The church already has an established schedule of having a Wednesday evening meal followed by classes for all ages and choir practice. I am looking forward to that and am planning to teach a Bible Study based on a book called 24/6 by Matthew Sleet, about the importance of the Sabbath.”
He and his wife said that they look forward to getting to know people in the community as they are both very community minded. “It does feel like a place we want to really get to know and settle into. We want to make it home,” Pastor Chuck said. “We look forward to all of our ‘Firsts’…Thanksgiving, Christmas…all the things that are a part of the church family life. Most importantly we are here to continue the work of sharing God’s love in our neighborhood and beyond.”
On a fun note, they are looking forward to a snowy winter here in Northwest Ohio.
Rebecca can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
A wonderful pastor and family!