Associate pastor appointed at Chesapeake United Methodist

Published 11:23 am Wednesday, June 28, 2017

CHESAPEAKE — It was many years ago that Mrs. Christine Case felt that serving the Lord as a full time vocation was where Jesus wanted her to be. How exactly that would pan out was something she would let God lead, one step at a time.

Seven years ago, one of those steps brought her to Lawrence County, alongside her husband, the Rev. Charles Case, who had just accepted an appointment to Chesapeake United Methodist. At that time, their son Nathan was two years old, and they had a daughter on the way. Sarah was born in August of that year.

Since then, there has always been an opportunity to serve the community through the church, and Christine has been instrumental in all of them. In 2011, the church convened the first and only Lawrence County chapter of Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS).

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“When we decided to begin a group for Moms, we weren’t sure how the community would respond.” Case, who this year finishes the sixth year as Coordinator, said. “We thought we were doing great to have five or six that first year. This last year, we had over 30 moms join us throughout the year for our MOPS meetings.”

In 2015, another opportunity opened up with the securing of a space on Third Avenue in Chesapeake, which is now known by many as Maxine’s Closet Thrift Shop, which sells donated clothing and home goods at a very reasonable rate.

“We were blessed with the space opening, and had no idea, at first, what God may want us to use it for. Through listening to God through conversations about the biggest needs in our community, we felt God leading us to open Maxine’s Closet to help support the work and mission of the Community Mission Outreach,” she said.

Since opening, the church has donated all proceeds from sales to the Community Mission Outreach food pantry. This year, 2017, from January to May, they have been able to donate $10,000, to help feed the hungry in our community.

Christine Case is the director of the shop and is amazed at how God provides donations, volunteers, and an increasing numbers of shoppers.

“If you want to see God at work all you have to do is stop by Maxine’s,” she said.

Throughout this time she was also working through the pathway of requirements to be ordained as a Deacon in the United Methodist Church. The pathway has required many twists and unexpected turns, resulting in a later finishing than she had at first anticipated.

Case earned a Masters of Arts in Christian Education from Asbury Theological Seminary, in Wilmore, Kentucky in 2002. A member of the Nazarene Church at the time, she accepted a call to serve Gallipolis First Church of the Nazarene upon graduating. She later served as an Associate Pastor and Day Care Director for a Nazarene Church in El Paso, Texas.

In September of 2005, Case moved to Ohio to marry the Rev. Charles Case, and it was then that she joined the United Methodist Church. “Then District Superintendent David Brown invited me to consider serving as Pastor of Andersonville UMC, in Ross County.”

Case served the Andersonville congregation for four years, and during that time Charles was pastor of the Chillicothe First and Londonderry congregations. He was commissioned as a Provisional Elder in 2007. When they moved to Lawrence County, she served as Pastor for the Rock Camp UMC for two years.

“It was during my time at Rock Camp that I began to discern my call more clearly. While I enjoyed filling a pulpit part time, I didn’t feel that was a full time calling for me. However, I did feel the Lord leading me to the ordained ministry of an Deacon.”

Deacons are, according to the UMC Book of Discipline, “Ordained to Word, Service, Compassion, and Justice. Deacons are persons called by God, authorized by the church, and ordained by a bishop to a lifetime ministry of Word, Service, Compassion, and Justice, to both the community and the congregation in a ministry that connects the two. Deacons exemplify Christian discipleship, create opportunities for others to enter into discipleship, and connect the needs and hurts of the people with the church.”

Case was commissioned as a provisional deacon at the West Ohio Annual Conference in Lakeside, Ohio, on June 6 and is appointed to be associate pastor of discipleship and outreach for the Chesapeake congregation, beginning July 1. She will serve two years in her appointment as associate pastor and then be eligible for ordination as a deacon.

Though some deacons are appointed to churches, many deacons have primary appointments at schools, prisons, community centers, hospitals, and other settings.

“Since her degree is Christian Education and her passion is discipleship, she will be employing that training and passion to enrich our ministry of developing disciples, and that will extend to our Thrift Shop ministry”, said Rev. Charles Case. “She has been doing the work of a Deacon for some time. This appointment makes it official.”