New Grace on the Hill pastor says unity a priority
Hello Corbin!: New Grace on the Hill United Methodist Church Pastor Weyman McGuire delivers his first sermon at the church from the pulpit Sunday morning. McGuire previously served at Madisonville First United Methodist Church for 10 years before being assigned to Corbin by a regional Bishop.
Following a vigorous and energetic sermon Sunday morning, Rev. Weyman McGuire took the opportunity to meet, face-to-face, the members off his new congregations at Grace on the Hill United Methodist Church.
For most in attendance, it was the first time they’d ever heard McGuire speak or met him in person. He was recently assigned to Grace on the Hill by the United Methodist Church Bishop who oversees the region. He follows a long stint at the church by former Pastor Tim Thompson, who served at Grace on the Hill for over a decade.
“He said, you are going to Corbin. We need you there,” McGuire said during a special reception held for him following the church’s second service.
“We are just delighted to be here. We think God sent us here. As a matter of fact, we know he did.”
McGuire, 64, shook the hands of every church member during the reception. His wife of 43 years, Kay, was by his side the entire time. The couple has five children and eight grandchildren.
A graduate of Cameron State College and Asbury Seminary with a Master of Divinity, McGuire most recently served a 10-year stint as senior pastor at Madisonville First United Methodist Church.
During Sunday’s sermon, McGuire promised to be always available to serve members of the church - in times of illness, grief, joy or just for spiritual advice. At the end of the service, he invited members to come to the front of the sanctuary to pray together as a show of unity.
“I think he’s right for us,” said Steve Haines, who has been a member at Grace on the Hill for seven years and serves as chairman of Grace on the Hill’s Personnel Board.
“It’s just his spiritual attitude and his demeanor of loving people and wanting to unite our church together and just bring us the word of God,” Haines added. “He is 64-years-old, but he acts much younger. He is a great speaker and very energetic. He’s a good fit for us. He is absolutely a great man of God and we are blessed to have him here.”
McGuire said his path to Christianity, and to Kentucky in particular, could not be more convoluted.
He was born in the Philippines and raised in Oklahoma. His great grandfather, on his mother’s side, was a Muslim Sultan in the Philippines, but his mother was converted to Christianity by an American missionary.
McGuire laughs when he talks about his past, but said it also fuels his desire to lead others to God.
“My great-grandfather would turn over in his grave if he knew his great-grandson was a Christian,” McGuire said. “I’m just trying to return the favor and convert as many people to Jesus as I can.”
During his 37 years in the ministry, McGuire has moved quite a few times. Methodist ministers are often relocated based on what central leaders surmise are the needs of individual churches. The life of a Methodist preacher can be rough, but rewarding.
“I believe the purpose of my life is to add value to the lives of people and to care about people. People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care,” McGuire said. “My purpose here is to love people and preach the word and to share the good news of Jesus Christ and help as many people as possible find the Lord as their savior.” In Corbin, at Grace on the Hill, McGuire said he sees ample opportunities to do just that. He noted that the 115-year-old church, which voted in 1994 to relocate from downtown Corbin to its new location off Cumberland Falls Hwy., has impressive facilities and resources at its disposal. He said he knows little about Corbin now, but is looking forward to becoming more accustomed to the town, and his new church, in the years to come.
“It is one of the best facilities in the conference. This is a great place. We can do a lot of things for God here,” McGuire said. “They have already done a lot of things for God. We are just going to add to it and do more.”
Meet and Greet: Above right, McGuire shakes hands with Desarae Martin during a reception in the church gymnasium following Sunday’s 11:00 a.m. service. McGuire stood with his wife and family to meet members of the church. A meal was served to all in attendance. At left, McGuire speaks with Forcht Group of Kentucky Founder Terry E. Forcht during the recption. Forcht is a long-time member of Grace on the Hill.