Sunday, Jan. 30th will mark a milestone for the congregation and council of Mesena United Methodist Church as they welcome their first full-time pastor.
Once a rural small community church served by a pastor of many churches on a charge, Mesena -- along with Camak and Macedonia -- later joined the Warren County Charge of United Methodist Churches.Now being a station church for several years, Mesena steps out to become an urban church with a full-time pastor.
Rev. Peter Strals, a former resident of McDuffie County, received a call from God to ministry in 1983 and in a couple of months resigned his job effective December 31, 1983. By the end of 1983 he received an appointment to pastor McCaysville UMC where he served as a lay pastor until 1987.
In the fall of 1987 Rev. Strals entered study at Candler School of Theology, while serving as a student pastor at Ball Ground UMC. He graduated in 1990 with a Master of Divinity degree.Since graduating Rev. Strals has served several appointments before his retirement in June 2004: Mt. Zion UMC in Chatsworth; McCaysville and Epworth UMC; and Pierce Memorial UMC in Augusta.
While at Pierce, he married Louise in 1996. In 2000, they moved to Hightower Memorial and Zion Chapel UMC; and the following year to Midway UMC where he served until June 2004.
In his retirement, Rev. Strals is looking forward to serving as pastor of Mesena UMC. He is also looking forward to sharing his faith and his story with the Mesena community of faith and to hear the testimony of their faith and their story.
In addition to praying, preaching, teaching, and counseling, Rev. Strals enjoys reading, singing, keeping up on current events of the church, the nation and the world, and jogging and walking. He and Lou also enjoy visiting and sometimes spoiling their eight grandchildren.