Thursday, April 11, 2013

Pastor Dennis in his own words

My life has been an ongoing process of discovering who I am and learning to follow God’s call upon my life. 

I’ve been a lifelong resident in South Eastern York County.  I graduated from Kennard-Dale High School which is part of the South Eastern School District. 

My family was active in the then Methodist Church.  I grew up in Prospect UMC and took the membership vows of commitment after going through Confirmation Class.  Prospect UMC is linked with Crossroads UMC and makes up the Gatchelville / Crossroads Charge in the southern part of the York District. 

Throughout my childhood and high school years I was very active in the church family.  I was very involved in the MYF (Methodist Youth Fellowship) and was Sunday School Superintendent starting at the age of twelve.  I learned to appreciate and thirst for God’s word by reading the scriptures daily to prepare the devotions for Sunday School.  I was an officer in the youth group throughout my teenage years. 

At the age of twelve I began working on Maple Lawn Farms, Inc. in New Park.  They were involved in orchard and small grain production.  Out of high school I became the production manager for the small grain operation and was very involved in the workings of the orchard.  I was employed with them for more than twenty-five years.  During this time I began to pursue God’s call and grow in my faith.

Around 1980 I became a Lay Speaker in the York District.  God opened many doors of opportunity for me as a Lay Speaker.  I had many opportunities to fill the pulpit and teach Sunday School throughout the York District.  During this time I was a Youth Leader for Prospect UMC and Crossroads UMC.  I also became active in Lay Witness Missions throughout Maryland and Pennsylvania.  My involvement in LWM was as a witness, but also as a Youth Coordinator. 

In January 1989 I went on a working retreat with the United Methodist Church to Cuernavaca, Mexico.  That experience changed my life and that year I met Jean.  We were married in September and she became stepmother to my son, Drew.  Drew was five years old. 

In 1995, God called me to be a part-time pastor at Potosi Mt. Zion in Glen Rock.  During that time I continued working on the farm for one year.  Then needing to cut working hours, I worked at a Car and Truck inspection station as a mechanic and service manager in New Park.  In 1999 I was called to full-time ministry and began pastoring at Mt. Nebo / Mt. Olivet Charge.  Mt. Nebo is in Delta, and Mt. Olivet is located near Fawn Grove.  During my appointment at Nebo / Olivet, I attended the Course of Study at Wesley Theological Seminary.  I completed the Course of Study at Wesley in July, 2004.

My life has been one of discovering the wonderful guiding hand of God upon my life.  With prayer and excitement I look forward to walking the path God has planned in the years to come.
--Pastor Dennis McCleary, "PD"

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