The Wellington Baptist Church has welcomed a new pastor.
Reverend John Morrison has started at the church, after former pastor Gary Moore and his wife Shirley decided to move to Africa for two years.
Reverend Morrison and his wife will stay for a couple of years while the church chooses a new, permanent pastor.
The pastor grew up in Dubbo. His parents lived in town, he said, but he also spent a fair bit of time at the dairy farm his parents owned on the outskirts of town.
“When Wellington approached me about coming here it felt like coming home in some ways. It’s a nice change from being in the city. And it’s quiet, that’s what we can’t get over,” Reverend Morrison said.
Becoming a pastor wasn’t always part of the plan. Reverend Morrison studied as an accountant.
“From my young days I was involved in church. As an older teenager I was running groups in church and even doing the odd sermon here and there – not very well, I’ve learnt a few things since then. It got to the stage where what I was dong part time I felt I would rather do that full time,” he said.
“It was quite a change from being an accountant. But in retrospect, looking back I think it was the right move for me.”
Before a new pastor is chosen a profile of the church and the community, using Census information, will be created. It will be used to find the best fit for Wellington.
A group from the congregation will form the interview panel to vet potential candidates. They’ll take their recommendation to the congregation who will vote on their new pastor.
Reverend Morrison said he wanted to be involved in the community through the Men’s Shed, food programs at the church and delivering food hampers to those who needed them.
“I’ve been particularly aware just in the time I’ve been here that a lot of the farmers are struggling with the drought. Already in the past week we’ve been helping some local people with water and hampers,” the pastor said.
“We’re keen to do that and help where we can, but also share that spiritual message as well that not only do we care but God cares.”