O’FALLON – Last week, O’Fallon First United Methodist Church welcomed its newest members – Senior Pastor Don Long, Associate Pastor Rebecca “Becky” Williams and their families – to the congregation. After giving the new pastors time to breathe as they move into their parsonages, the church hosted an open house this past Sunday to celebrate their arrival.
Senior Pastor Don Long, former pastor of Godfrey United Methodist Church (Godfrey, Ill.), is honored to be the new head pastor for OFFUMC. “I am extremely excited about this community. Not just the Methodist church community,” he said with a smile, “but O’Fallon, in general. It’s a nice place here. I am also impressed with the enthusiasm of the congregation, and I can’t wait to engage in the many opportunities OFFUMC provides.”
He is determined to do whatever it takes – except becoming a Cardinals fan – to share the Gospel and can’t wait to find out what God has in store for him at O’Fallon First United Methodist Church.
“I really want to get to know the church community,” said Reverend Don when asked about his plans for his first year at OFFUMC. “I want to get to know their dreams and their goals in life, and I want to help the congregation in any way I can.”
When he preached his first sermon to the congregation last Sunday, he was anything but shy. He was animated and passionate about preaching the Word of God to his new congregation and highlighted the importance of blind faith. “I am never surprised in what God does,” he emphasized, “but I am always amazed.”
Pastor Don joins O’Fallon FUMC with his wife, Becky, and their children, Deven and Zach.
Associate Pastor Becky Williams, former pastor of Marissa UMC (Marissa, Ill.), has been a Methodist pastor for ten years and is happy to be ministering at O’Fallon FUMC. “O’Fallon First United Methodist Church is an active and exciting place,” Reverend Becky said, commenting on what she finds most exciting about her new position as associate pastor. “I’d love to engage in the Children’s Ministry and assisting in local missions. This church,” she added as an afterthought, “is not only growing numerically, but also spiritually. The people here are deeply committed to faith, and that’s amazing.”
Pastor Becky has a love for learning. She continues seeking ways to learn more about theology, spiritual formation and ministry, and wants to take what she learns and share it with others.
“As an associate pastor here, I would like to meet and work with adult Sunday School leaders. Discipleship is an important aspect of faith, and I want to assist those who lead in the church in any way I can.”
To complement Pastor Don’s sermon last week, Pastor Becky shared the story of her walk with Christ to the congregation, demonstrating how blind faith can be rewarding. She gave up her dream of becoming a teacher to enroll in seminary, and though it was intimidating at first, it was one of the best decisions she had ever made.
Pastor Becky joins O’Fallon FUMC with her husband, Chris, and her children, Michael and Natalie.