Pastor Harley Wheeler began ministry at Minerva UMC in July 2011, following the retirement of Rev. Kerry King
“How do you like Minerva?”
“Son of man, look with your eyes and pay attention to everything I am going to show you. For that is
why you have been brought here….” Ezekiel 40:4
As you may have guessed, many people have asked me how I like Minerva, both people who
live here and people from ‘back home.’ My answer is that I like it very much indeed. There is a lively
church here, with many gifts and graces. For me there is a very comfortable house and some lovely
walks. The town has a real sense of community spirit, supportive pastor friends, and the people, all of
you people, have been a real blessing. I like Minerva real well, and I am the sort of positive individual
that isn’t waiting for “the other shoe to drop.” I have more trust in God’s faithfulness than all that.
I think it remarkably gracious that folks are hoping that I like what I find here. I am touched that
so many inquire out of a concern that I am “OK.” But, think about it. I am here because a group of people
were praying, and the best sense they had of the will of the Creator of the universe was that I take
up the pastoral duties at the Methodist church. That is a very otherworldly reason to be anyplace.
So we can expect that I will meet Jesus here in various powerful ways, and that I will have not just a liking,
but raptures of Joy over this place. ‘Like’ won’t even begin to cover it! Be assured that I also may
encounter various crosses and afflictions, because I have not come just for your good, but also my own.
An even better question might be; “How do you love Minerva?” with an emphasis on the ‘How?’
We are not in this time and place to merely seek our own ends. God has a community to love, and is
using us to show that love, and we should ask; ‘How?’ The answer will always be found in the life and
character of Jesus. Let him love Minerva through us, and we will come out ‘OK.’
God’s Love, Pastor Harley