Oldest local church gets new pastor

First United Methodist Church of Ashland announces a pastoral change. Pastor Michael Powell, 13 year minister of the oldest church in Ashland, is appointed to Morningside United Methodist Church, Salem. Ted Myers, pastor of First United Methodist Church in Klamath Falls for the last 9 years, becomes pastor of the Ashland congregation July 1.

Pastor Michael said, "Ashland has been our home for 13 years. The church has grown, our folks are looking to the future with the building program. We are sorry to leave." His parents are aging. Michael, with his wife Anni, will be closer to them. "We are fortunate that Morningside is open so we can be near family in their later years."

Michael received the Lambda Award from Abdill-Ellis Center and the Denman Evangelism Award from the Oregon-Idaho Annual (regional) Conference of the Untied Methodist Church. Readers of the Sneak Preview voted Michael Most Fun Clergy.

His involvement in the Inter-Faith Community helped the annual Thanksgiving Service grow to the capacity of Wesley Hall. Michael was a leader in dialouges with the Muslim community after 9/11, has welcomed Jewish rabbi's to the United Methodist pulpit, and lives the according to the United Methodist slogan Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors.

United Methodist clergy are ittenerate. Each is appointed for one year to serve a church by the Bishop of the Annual Conference. The tradition is traced to church founder, John Wesley.

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