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Former pastors of Miles Memorial United Methodist Church


Reverend W. P. Wright


Reverend R. H. Diehl


Reverend N. J. Pruden


Reverend J. Co Rosser


Reverend T. J. Taylor


Reverend L. A. Smith


Reverend R. N. Hartness


Reverend L. T. Hitt

Rev H A Glauss2


Rev H A Glauss

Rev O L Gilliam


Rev O L Gilliam

Rev B L Shipman


Rev B L Shipman

Rev George Bishop


Rev George Bishop

Rev H W Curry


Rev H W Curry

Rev Henry A Harrell


Rev Henry A Harrell

Rev Leonard R Black


Rev Leonard R Black

Rev Ralph L Haga


Rev Ralph L Haga

Rev Theodore M Swann


Rev Dr Theodore M Swann

Rev W Carroll Freeman


Rev Dr W Carroll Freeman

Rev John R Hendricks


Rev Dr John R Hendricks

Rev W W McIntyre


Rev Dr William W McIntyre

Lee O Mortzfeldt


Rev Lee O Mortzfeldt

Rev John Teter


Rev John Teter

Rev Reid W Digges


Rev Dr Reid W Digges Jr

Rev Norman Preston2


Rev Norman G Preston Jr

Rev Reginald Potts


Rev Reginald H Potts III

Rev O Murry Unruh2


Rev O Murry Unruh

Rev Daniel Ivey


Rev Daniel Ivey

Rev Morris A Bennett


Rev Morris A Bennett

Rev Gus Wright


Rev William C Gus Wright

Rev James McClung


Rev James McClung


Rev Kathleen Monge


Rev John Haynes

When people new to United Methodism hear that a new pastor will soon be serving their congregation, they may ask:

Why don’t we get to choose our pastor?

Who makes these decisions?

The short answers describe how United Methodists have agreed to meet the pastoral needs of congregations.

John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement, preached up to 40,000 sermons in his lifetime. He was an “itinerant” preacher, traveling from town to town in England, setting up Methodist societies.

In the days of Francis Asbury, the first of two Methodist bishops in the United States, a pastor – most often a circuit rider – might be appointed to half of a state or more. His appointment might be for only three months, after which he moved to another circuit. Thousands of the oldest United Methodist congregations today trace their history to a circuit rider.

This traveling from place to place to begin Methodist societies in principle led to the itinerant system The United Methodist Church uses today. 

“Itinerancy” refers specifically to the commitment by pastors to go and serve wherever their bishops send them. “Appointment” is the action taken by bishops. These are different, yet related.

Before they are ordained or licensed, clergy in The United Methodist Church agree to serve where their bishop appoints them. Appointments are for one year at a time. and can be renewed for additional years. For elders and local pastors, particularly, the goal is to match the gifts and graces of the particular pastor with the ministry needs of a particular congregation. In this “serial leadership” of consecutive pastors – no two are alike – over time, the combination of skills blends to form a broad base of developed ministries.

While bishops make appointments, they incorporate a consultative process outlined in The Book of Discipline that includes district superintendents, pastors and pastor and staff/parish relations committees. The needs and desires of clergy are considered, says Missouri Bishop Robert Schnase, but “the mission of the church comes first.”

Over the years 32 “itinerant” pastors have served appointments at Miles Memorial ranging from one year to seven years. Each pastor had their own gifts and graces and came and went as the needs of the church changed with time.

—Adapted from “Chuck Knows Church,” Discipleship Ministries, and the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry website.