Tim1  WELCOME, REV. TIM SOULE

 

My new friends in the faith, I was asked to write a biographical piece about myself for presentation at the next meeting of Heartland Presbytery. Perhaps you will be interested in knowing a bit of my upbringing and background. If it raises questions for you, I hope you will ask them to me and give me the chance to hear about you and your life and loved ones. I am very pleased to be with you as Interim Pastor and am excited as we begin this ministry with one another. Blessings, Tim I am a child of the church, born in a small Kansas community of 600 where my father was pastor of the Presbyterian Church and my mother had her life filled with caring for my older sister and me. I was baptized at two months, along with two other babies. My mother told me I was the third one to receive the sacrament that morning and as my father sprinkled the water on my head, I burst into a wail. Not sure what that means but I like knowing my baptism was memorable. Two younger brothers joined my family over the next five years, and we moved to the Kansas City area where my father served a new and rapidly growing congregation. I almost completed grade school there before moving south to Winfield, Kansas, the place I call my hometown. In Winfield, I completed junior and senior high school, confirmed my baptismal promises, served on presbytery youth council, played on every sports team imaginable, was involved in music, student government and with many friends. I attended and graduated from Sterling College in Sterling, Kansas in 1977. While at Sterling, I met and married Debbie Hansen. She too was a Presbyterian pastor’s kid, a great athlete and student. She is a trained educator and has taught school, directed an alternative high school completion program, served as Director of Children and Family Ministries and is currently teaching ESL at Lawrence High School. We are the parents of two wonderful sons, both of whom are now married, and we are grandparents to two beautiful granddaughters and three handsome grandsons. Since Debbie was one year behind me in college, we remained in the area so she could finish her degree. I was called to be student pastor of a fifty-five member Presbyterian Church in Arlington, Kansas. Debbie and I had been youth leaders at the Presbyterian Church in Lyons, Kansas, for a year while going to college. That congregation encouraged me to consider the ministry as a vocation. The Arlington position was a good opportunity to explore whether or not this was the path I wanted
to take. After several months working with the Arlington church, I applied and was accepted to McCormick Theological Seminary, where I studied from 1978-1981. Our first call was to Conrad, a small town in North Central Iowa Presbytery. We served there for eight and a half years, helping complete a long dreamed of addition to the church. From there a call came to Sacramento Presbytery and the community of Red Bluff, California. Eleven and a half years of ministry focused on building programs for children, youth and adults. In 2001, we were called back to Southern Kansas at First Presbyterian Church of Hutchinson. Again we worked to build programs for children and youth along with the development of a new service of worship with a band and much less formality. In 2010, I accepted a call to Westminster Presbyterian Church in Ottawa, Kansas, a church which had just recently gone through a difficult split losing about 60% of their membership. After five years in Ottawa helping the congregation reestablish confidence and strength, it was time to move on and make room for new leadership and ideas. I began work with a Community Action Agency as the Director of Planning. We served the low-income people in nine Kansas counties. My work included leading a Community Needs Assessment and creating a strategic planning process for the agency. I understood this work to be a calling into a new ministry. The work was an enjoyable challenge, and I was finding success in it but I missed the work and rhythms of pastoral ministry, so I submitted my name to several churches searching for interim pastors. Thankfully, the session invited me to work with the Leavenworth congregation. Debbie and I love to be active. We are both big sports fans…tennis, sand volleyball, golfing, fishing, just to name a few! Together we enjoy long walks, bike rides and yard work. We also love to attend sporting events, especially when our grandkids are playing. We usually have a small garden each summer. Most of all we love to spend time with our family.
Rev. Tim Soule will work in the church office on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and from home on Fridays. If you need to contact him, his e-mail is johntsoule@yahoo.com

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