Jun 29 2017

Pastor Mike at Aztec Methodist ChurchAllow me to take the opportunity to introduce myself. 

I was born in Gallup, where my father worked for the government at Fort Wingate. My mother worked as a housewife, and as an active member of the League of Women Voters. I have a sister who is six years older than I am. We had no other family nearby since Dad was from Ohio and Mom from Washington DC.

When I was five we moved to Albuquerque, because my father got a job working at Sandia Army base in personnel department of the Defense Nuclear Agency. I graduated from Eldorado High School, being in the first class to attend all four high-school years there. I was involved in the school band, playing flute and bassoon, and also performed in the orchestra for the Civic Light Opera (a musical theater company). I was also very involved in Asbury UMC, in the youth group, teaching Sunday School, and serving on various committees. 

I then went to college at MIT. I planned to major in math or physics, but found that I didn’t have the intuitive grasp of these subjects that many of my fellow students did. So I majored in geology. While in college I was active in Inter Varsity Christian Fellowship, and I spent a year attending different churches of varying denominations. I ended up becoming an associate member at Old West UMC in Boston, for my final three years in college. My father died of bone marrow cancer while I was a sophomore. This was not unexpected—he had lived six years longer than his original prognosis, in large part due to being treated by then experimental chemotherapy. It was during my last years at MIT that I first heard a call to ordained ministry, but put it aside as being ridiculous: my gifts lay in the sciences, not in dealing with people.

After graduating from MIT I came back to Albuquerque, and worked for two years in geology, for USGS and for a private consulting firm out of Santa Fe. I continued to be active in Asbury, acting as on of the Jr. Hi Youth group sponsors. I began again feeling a call to ministry. I again put it off, knowing that I could never get up in front of people to preach. One evening during a bible study, one of the group members confronted me saying, “Mike, Is God calling you to the ministry?” I began talking to other people about the possibility, including my mother, who said, “I’ve known for some time you were headed toward ministry.” With God telling other people of my call I couldn’t deny it any longer. 

I attended seminary at Iliff School of Theology in Denver. One year of my seminary experience was as a student pastor of two small churches in eastern Kansas, and associate in a third church nearby. Since graduating and being ordained, I have served churches in Grants, Clint and Fabens (downriver from El Paso), Las Vegas, Carlsbad (part time as hospice chaplain, part time at Hillcrest UMC), and University Heights UMC Albuquerque. 

The cabinet made the Albuquerque appointment because I had requested an appointment near the city. My mother had been showing growing signs of “fuzziness” and dementia, and since my sister and her family were in Oklahoma City, they weren’t available to help her. Living nearby, I was able to check on her daily, but her decline became more rapid. My sister and her husband decided to quit their jobs, and they moved in with her, while my nephew stayed in Oklahoma. Now the cabinet felt free to transfer me, so I moved to Fort Sumner. Mom died three years later.

Now I am looking forward to serving here in Aztec.